I understand that occasionally, a judge will find themselves limited by the allowable punishments as written into the criminal code. I imagine that if you are a judge bent on doing the right thing, that it can be frustrating when it seems the maximum is not enough. However, I must say that if judges expect to be taken with any kind of seriousness and respect, they had better stop making decisions that make a mockery of the justice they are charged with serving.
Why do I say this? Because in my opinion, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Kathleen Ker just made the most unbelievable ruling in the sentencing of gangster Manny Buttar, who is going to be allowed to serve his 15 month sentence at home, under “strict conditions”. Yes, mom and dad are going to be babysitting Mr. Buttar while he pays penance for smashing a glass against a strangers head as he confessed to killing a rival gang leader. Kim Bolan has the story HERE.
In October, Ker found Buttar guilty of assault with a weapon and threatening Pardeep (Sunny) Dhillon — a complete stranger — at a Surrey restaurant.
She accepted Dhillon’s testimony that an intoxicated Buttar hit him across the face after learning Dhillon was a cousin of slain gangster Bindy Johal.
And Ker said she believed Dhillon that Buttar claimed he “killed for a living” and admitted to executing Johal, his one-time ally turned rival.
Ker said Thursday that while Dhillon was not seriously hurt in the attack, he was terrified by the threats leveled by Buttar.
“The assault was entirely unprovoked by Pardeep Dhillon,” Ker said. “Threatening and intimidating comments were made.”
when Buttar claimed he was a contract killer, he assumed Buttar was joking and made a comment about his late cousin having the same profession and ending up dead.
At that moment Buttar assaulted him, Dhillon testified, and said he “got rid” of Johal and could get rid of Dhillon too.
Dhillon said a Buttar associate pulled a gun, but the magazine fell out and Dhillon kicked it away.
Ker also accepted that a gun was present and seen by both Dhillon and the restaurant manager, who was so fearful when she testified that she cried when she pointed to Buttar.
According to Vancouver police, Manny Buttar heads a gang that has been trafficking in south Vancouver. Some members of the purported Buttar group were arrested as part of a massive undercover operation called Project Rebellion.
So, of course it makes sense that the judge should feel ” that despite Buttar’s criminal history, he met the criteria for a conditional sentence because he works full-time as a longshoreman and had taken steps to deal with an alcohol problem that contributed to the unprovoked 2006 assault. “Mr. Buttar’s prospects for rehabilitation appear to be good,”…
This is a joke, except that it is not even remotely humourous to think that individuals with histories like this are being allowed to serve their sentences at home. Therein lies the failure of our criminal justice system, because while convictions must be obtained through actual evidence and testimony – fact, rather than fiction, the ruling of the justice overseeing the case is the wild card no one can anticipate.
I’ve always thought the only way to get accountability from these judges is to elect them so that they must answer for their actions like any other public servant. We pay you, and we will hold you to account for your decisions and rulings. It’s the only way.
Wishful thinking? I think not. But then again, this comes in the same week when a RCMP officer somehow escaped drunk and dangerous driving charges and so will not be held criminally accountable for causing the death of the wonderfully vibrant young man he hit with his vehicle.
And, this is the same week my local police force announced they are handing over 60 officers to the 2010 Olympics – despite the fact we live in one of Canada’s Top 10 most dangerous cities, AND despite the fact that even the Surrey Board of Trade says we need more police in order to handle the crime, AND despite the fact that even our own Mayor addressed the need for more police on our streets in her 2009 State of the City address!
We also need to put more police on our streets. It’s that basic.
When a single shooting ties up 30 or 40 officers in the investigation, you can see the kind of numbers we’re talking about.
On a per-capita basis we have fewer police officers than Toronto or Montreal.
And before all you Vancouver yuppies start laughing at us Surrey folks for our ranking on that top 10 most dangerous cities list, I should point out that you are actually number 8 on the list – beating Surrey by one point! Think about that while you are on show for the world to see. Now that’s a headline.
But hey, the important people tell us that it won’t be a problem for the remaining officers to deal with our crime, because we are closing the criminal courts for 4 weeks during the games to any trials involving police witnesses…. Makes sense to me, as it does to all the criminals out there who are, as we speak, no likely planning a major operation or crime spree during that time period…
Is it just me, or is all of this insane? Do the PR people making these announcements actually think we buy these assurances? Hello, this is Surrey, not Disney Land. We don’t have giant mice with bow ties, we have gangsters in hummers and BMW’s with semi-automatic weapons under their seats and silencers in the glove compartments. After so many people calling for so many more RCMP, suddenly, as if a miracle has occurred suddenly, we have more than enough to spare 60 in Surrey alone to cover the games.
Jesus. Forget about the judges- who is going to protect us from the ones making all these decisions?
** Now, if you want to see what I’m talking about, take a look at the video clip of the police force on this portion of the torch run