Pubdate: Sun, 01 Mar 2009
Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2009 The Toronto Star
Author: James Dubro


Re: Critics say more jail time won't help, Feb. 27

The new Conservative anti-gang laws are a crass attempt to exploit the
current gangland violence in Vancouver and Calgary, yet do little to
stop or inhibit organized crime or drug trafficking.

Making it a mandatory first-degree murder charge for gang-related
murders and a mandatory four years (rather low and arbitrary for the
crime) for drive-by shootings is meaningless as it already exists in
law that someone who deliberately murders can and should be charged
with first-degree murder.

And attempted murder is worth more than four years under current laws.
Why would this new law deter anyone?

The best laws against organized crime gangs are those anti-gang laws
adopted in 1998 and amended in 2002. These laws allow the police to
charge three or more people working together in criminal activity and
give a minimum sentence of 14 years. Why aren't the police in
Vancouver enforcing these anti-organized crime measures?

The only long-term answer to the problem is the state regulation of
illicit drugs in both the U.S. and Canada - taking the lucrative drug
trade out of the hands of organized crime and even giving the
government billions in new revenue to address prevention and
intervention of gang membership and drug use.

James Dubro, author of books on organized crime

- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin