Pubdate: Tue, 03 Nov 2009
Source: Nanaimo Daily News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Nanaimo Daily News
Author: Ethan Erkiletian


Re: 'Marc Emery deserved his punishment in prison' (Your Letters, 
Daily News, Oct. 31)

After reading the piece from Conner Whelan of Ladysmith, I had to 
think about what he was saying. The letter seems to ignore some very 
important aspects of the case of Marc Emery, our very own Prince of 
Pot and his extradition for selling cannabis seeds.

Mr. Whelan says that this is not about sovereignty but it certainly 
is. When faced with the prospect of one of our citizens being claimed 
by a foreign nation to face a standard of justice that is so greatly 
different than our own, it is a matter of sovereignty to rightly 
claim that our laws must take priority. Should our standard of 
justice be insufficient to punish some one for a crime, it is up to 
our lawmakers to change the standard. Applying a foreign standard of 
justice to a citizen in and of our own land at the request of a 
foreign power is an abdication of our sovereign jurisdiction over 
citizenship and domestic law.

Mr. Whelan also mentions that compounding Mr Emery's fate was the 
fact that he was open in flaunting American laws. Our voice is 
suppose to be our own and if this should subject one to a harsher 
standard of justice than those who keep their mouths shut, I would 
dare our law makers to create a standard of justice that punishes 
those who speak before those who do not. This is a terrible attempt 
at justifying a punishment that should never have been undertaken.

Mr. Whelan also attempts to paint Emery as a coward hiding from 
American justice officials claiming his rights of Canadian 
citizenship. Seeking protection from the lawmakers sworn to protect 
him, asking the domestic authorities take justice into their own 
hands in their own realm and continuing to speak brazenly and without 
apology for his convictions is far from cowardly. A coward would have 
run, shut up and begged for forgiveness. It would be a coward who 
would accept an unjust punishment in hope for a small bit of 
leniency. Emery did not do this. Emery never backed down from his convictions.

Emery may not deserve admiration for some of his traits but I am 
certainly not ready to call him a coward as Mr. Whelan so passively 
managed to do. I am also not ready to abdicate our responsibility to 
protect Canadian citizens from even our allies should our allies seek 
something from us that is a blatantly different standard of justice 
from our own.

Ethan Erkiletian

- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom