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Author Topic: In Vancouver, gay murder = slap on wrist for one; freedom for other
Hephaestion
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posted 10 December 2004 09:12 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hey queers, we'll let you marry, but your murderers will get off with either a slap on the wrist, or else scott free

quote:
VANCOUVER - A B.C. judge has convicted one of two men charged in the beating death of a gay man in Vancouver's Stanley Park but acquitted another.

In a decision handed down Friday, Ryan Kran, 22, was found guilty of manslaughter in the killing of 41-year-old Aaron Webster, who was beaten to death with a club in November 2001.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Mary Humphries said it was clear that both Kran and Danny Rao, 22, had driven to Stanley Park, armed with baseball bats and looking for "peeping toms" after they had been drinking.

But Humphries acquitted Rao, saying the evidence against him was unreliable.

People in the courtroom groaned at the mixed verdict and reacted in anger when Humphries agreed to let Kran stay out of jail until his sentencing in January. Observers of the trial shouted: "he killed a man," "this is ridiculous," and "what a joke."


"Peeping toms" — I could bloody well PUKE!!!!

These bastards went to Stanley Park ARMED with baseball bats and golf clubs, and they went to a known "gay stroll" area. This was pre-meditated murder, yet two "kids" got away last year with a "manslaughter" charge (2 yrs and 3 yrs respectively) and now THIS....

It's bad enough that the cops hate us almost as much as the criminals, but clearly we can't even get justice from the Crown Attorney's Office or the judges. This is DESPICABLE,

[ 10 December 2004: Message edited by: Hephaestion ]


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 10 December 2004 09:21 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Webster's death shocked and angered the city's gay community.

One of the young offenders had testified a group of teens armed with pool cues and other weapons swarmed and beat Webster while he lay naked and defenceless on the ground.

Another courtroom spectator, Brad Teeter, didn't know Webster but came to the trial in support.

"Almost everyone one of my friends has been attacked at some point," he said. "We all feel it very personally. That's why there was such intensity in the courtroom today."

Teeter believes it was a hate crime.


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 10 December 2004 09:34 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Link to PEJ coverage

Link to original CBC story at the time of Aaron's murder

From 365gay.com (no longer available online)

quote:
Charges Too Light In Slaying Vancouver Gays Say
by Rich Peters
365Gay.com Newscenter
Vancouver Bureau

Posted: December 22, 2003 8:02 p.m. ET

(Vancouver, British Columbia) Vancouver gays are demanding the prosecutor increase the charges against four men accused of the vicious 2001 killing of a gay man.

The full details of Aaron Webster's murder came out last week at the sentencing of the fifth person responsible for the violent slaying on a trail in a gay cruising area of downtown park. The 19 year old was the first of the five to be sentenced. He and the others were charged with manslaughter, and the prosecution did not ask for hate crime enhancements.

At the sentencing of the teen who was a minor at the time of the killing, and cannot under Canadian law be named, Judge Valmond Romilly admonished the prosecutor for not including a hate crime charge. Romilly added the charge himself, saying that after reading the Criminal Code of Canada, "I failed to see why it cannot be described as a gay bashing."

The teen said he and the others had been drinking and then went looking to beat up gay men who cruised the sprawling downtown park.

In his delivering sentence Romilly called the attack savage and cowardly and compared the teens to a "thug brigade" out of Nazi Germany.

Romilly sentenced the teen to the maximum allowed under young offender legislation, two years for the manslaughter and a third year for the hate crime enhancement.

Vancouver activist Jim Deva said that not only is it inconceivable the prosecutor did not ask for additional time for the hate crime, but that manslaughter was woefully inadequate.

Deva said he was "deeply, deeply offended" by what he called the light treatment the five were receiving from the prosecutor. Deva said the details that came out during the sentencing show the charge should have been second degree murder which carries a much longer sentence.

The court was told that Webster was killed by being beaten with baseball bats and golf clubs.

"For the first time, our community is starting to get some details of the actual attack, some alarming details," Deva said.

"We have been concerned since the charges were laid that manslaughter was not adequate to address justice for Aaron. Our community has been in an absolute uproar over these manslaughter charges versus second-degree murder," he told the Vancouver Province newspaper.

"And now, as we begin to hear some of the gruesome details of that gang of thugs, and the fact that they're only going to be charged with manslaughter, we are deeply, deeply offended."

A second man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and awaits sentencing, and three others have been charged -- also with manslaughter -- and will be tried next year.

"I think we have to directly approach the attorney-general's department, have them sit down and read this ruling, and then tell us why there are two forms of justice, one for gay men and one for the rest of the world," Deva said.

©365Gay.com® 2003


To sound off about this travesty...

Honourable Geoff Plant
Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Treaty Negotiations

E-mail address care of: EnquiryBC@gems3.gov.bc.ca

OR...
Phone: 250-387-1866
Toll-Free: 1 800 663-7867 (Enquiry BC)
Fax: 250-387-6411

OR by "snail" mail at:
PO Box 9044
STN PROV GOVT
Victoria BC
V8W 9E2

Federally-

The Honourable Irwin Cotler
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8

OR by e-mail care of: webadmin@justice.gc.ca


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 10 December 2004 09:36 PM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Hephaestion:
It's bad enough that the cops hate us almost as much as the criminals, but clearly we can't even get justice from the Crown Attorney's Office or the judges. This is DESPICABLE,


Yes, I agree it is, and I have seen someone's personal evidence regarding 1 "cop's" so called hatred of gays, but I am sure it is not fair to say that all do. There are a couple of lesbian detectives that I know of on the Van police force.

I think it is more of the fact they see themselves, the cops I mean as sometyhing other than pretty much everyone else. They're blue, the rest of us are residing on some sliding scale of worthwhileness that appears entrenched.

I watched the Passionate Eye last night on the Niel Stonechild case, and from what was said by some you opened this case wide show there are some good police out there trying to rid their ranks of this "blue" mentality that appears to hate everyone not a"blue" pretty much equally.


From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
babblerwannabe
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posted 10 December 2004 10:02 PM      Profile for babblerwannabe     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
wow, i hope there is a big public outcry over this.
From: toronto | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Agent 204
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posted 10 December 2004 10:02 PM      Profile for Agent 204   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Hephaestion:

It's bad enough that the cops hate us almost as much as the criminals, but clearly we can't even get justice from the Crown Attorney's Office or the judges. This is DESPICABLE,


As far as what you're saying about the Crown Attorney's Office, I agree entirely. I was shocked to hear that the prosecution didn't push the hate crime angle. Like, how obvious does it have to be?

As for the judge, I don't know enough about the way the legal system works to say. Did she have the power to go over the prosecutor's head and fail to do so? If so, she is worthy of as much criticism as the prosecutor, but is this the case?


From: home of the Guess Who | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 10 December 2004 10:15 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mike Keenan:
As for the judge, I don't know enough about the way the legal system works to say. Did she have the power to go over the prosecutor's head and fail to do so? If so, she is worthy of as much criticism as the prosecutor, but is this the case?

From the story above, from one year ago:

quote:
Judge Valmond Romilly admonished the prosecutor for not including a hate crime charge. Romilly added the charge himself, saying that after reading the Criminal Code of Canada, "I failed to see why it cannot be described as a gay bashing."

ONE judge could see it clearly enough, but apparently that made no impacxt on the Crown Attorney's office. The charges in this case were not upped, and the judge made no attempt to do so or even add extra time for a hate crime.

Instead, she accepted the blatant falsehood that the thugs were looking for "peeping toms" — the word "gay" was barely even mentioned in the courtroom, let alone "hate crime". I am incensed over this....

[ 10 December 2004: Message edited by: Hephaestion ]


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
icon
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posted 11 December 2004 02:19 AM      Profile for icon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I am incensed over this....

I can't help but feel the exact same way. I'm emailing both the Attorney General, Geoff Plant and Irwin Cotler. Thanks for the contact info.

From: Kingston, Ontario | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 11 December 2004 02:23 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
These bastards went to Stanley Park ARMED with baseball bats and golf clubs, and they went to a known "gay stroll" area. This was pre-meditated murder, yet two "kids" got away last year with a "manslaughter" charge (2 yrs and 3 yrs respectively) and now THIS....


If these two men had beaten a straight man to death in a public park, what would the sentence have been?

Given all the gay bashing that's been going on of late in Vangroovy, is Vancouver still considered a Gay mecca?


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 11 December 2004 02:37 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, but don't you see, according to the defence lawyers (uncontested by the Crown OR the judge) it's not about gays at all!! These five guys got drunk, armed themselves with baseball bats and golf clubs and went to a well-known "gay stroll" area of Stanley Park looking for "peeping toms".

No gay bashing here folks, no sir-ee!! Not a bit of hate crime. Wasn't even a proper "murder", really...

[ 11 December 2004: Message edited by: Hephaestion ]


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fern hill
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posted 11 December 2004 02:52 PM      Profile for fern hill        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This is appalling. How could it not be deemed a hate crime? And not to derail this thread but -- how about the RCMP officer in Alberta sentence to two years HOUSE ARREST for shooting a man TWICE in custody????? Is life getting cheap here in the Great White North??
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Denner
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posted 11 December 2004 03:41 PM      Profile for Denner     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hephaestion, you are not alone in being "appalled". Whether this was a 'gay bashing' or not, (to me that is just a distraction of sorts-this was a real PERSON who died rather horribly!)this should be dealt with the deepest of penalties. The guy actually took part in the stalking of a person who was minded his OWN BUSINESS. While I'm happy to see one of the attackers get nailed-(but, only 'manslaughter'?)it would be BEST if BOTH of them had been more seriously 'nailed' (like to a tree-for good.)

Our daughters friend used to date Webster-we don't know the victim, but however, our daughter's buddy is a VERY nice guy-and I'm sure (well, we know) he goes through some pretty #$%$@# harsh times (probably put mildly here) because of his preference regarding sexual choices-from others who ARE filled with hate!

No, you're not alone in this. (My conclusion? The 'law' is an ASS!)

[ 11 December 2004: Message edited by: Denner ]


From: British Columbia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 13 December 2004 08:20 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
THE KILLERS OF AARON WEBSTER

JUSTICE DENIED!


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 13 December 2004 04:46 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This is vile.
The prosecutor should be . . . well, probably roughed up some with baseball bats, but realistically, sued?

Our justice system seems to get more rotten by the day. What is going on?


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
exiled armadillo
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posted 13 December 2004 05:58 PM      Profile for exiled armadillo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Our justice system seems to get more rotten by the day. What is going on?

Calling it a justice system is a misnomer. There is nothing "just" about this system of law, and as long as people are looking for "justice" they will not be happy.

Sorry, but it doesn't matter if its the guy who got out because 38 child molestations was not considered a track record; the two guys who got house arrest for killing two people running them down in a street race.

What we need is a system of repayment/reparation to the community. Until we make people responsible as human being and hold them accountable to a higher standard to the rest of their community, nothing will change.


From: Politicians and diapers should be changed frequently and for the same reason | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 20 March 2005 02:33 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am fucking SPEECHLESS!!!

quote:
Appeal sought in Aaron Webster murder case

(Vancouver, British Columbia) A man convicted of manslaughter in the beating death of a gay man in Vancouver's Stanley Park will appeal the verdict, his lawyer said.

Ryan Cran, 22, was sentenced Feb. 8 in B.C. Supreme Court for his part in the gang attack on Aaron Webster, 41.

Justice Mary Humphries ruled there was no evidence the attack on Webster was motivated by bias, prejudice or hatred, which drew criticism from the city's gay community.

She sentenced Cran to six years in prison. His lawyer, Kris Pechet, argued Friday the verdict in his client's case was unfair and unreasonable.



Something needs to be DONE about this!!!


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 20 March 2005 04:11 AM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Something needs to be done about what? WE have a legal system and process and part of that process is that you have a right to a defence and to a fair trial and that you also have the right to try to appeal. Would you prefer to just let the police arbitrarily decide who they think is guilty ahd have frontier justice?
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DrConway
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posted 20 March 2005 04:28 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Can judges increase sentences on appeal? It would so serve that snot-nosed kid right if he got slapped with a 14-year sentence for manslaughter instead of only the 6 year one he got.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 20 March 2005 05:37 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If at all possible, I'd like to see the old charges stayed, and have him retried for murder. If that is not feasible, I would at least like to see the hate crimes provision applied *and* have his sentence increased. Ten to 12 years sounds good.

And I am going to write AGAIN to the appropriate ministries (who's replacing Plant?) asking to see some commitment to treating violence against gays and lesbians a LOT more seriously. It was (and is) appalling that Webster's killers have never faced murder charges, because to my mind this was a cold-blooded murder.

And if I hear "peeping toms" outta these assholes again...

[ 20 March 2005: Message edited by: Hephaestion ]


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Anchoress
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posted 20 March 2005 05:43 AM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by DrConway:
Can judges increase sentences on appeal? It would so serve that snot-nosed kid right if he got slapped with a 14-year sentence for manslaughter instead of only the 6 year one he got.

I believe they can.


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 20 March 2005 07:12 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here's an interesting comparison of cases:

Murdered teen buried, as charges laid

quote:
VANCOUVER – A funeral service was held Friday afternoon for Jomar Lanot. The 17-year-old Filipino student was beaten to death outside his Vancouver high school a week ago.

Police have arrested two teens – a 16-year-old and 17-year-old – and charged them with second-degree murder in Lanot's death.


This killing was the result of a spur-of-the-moment attack following an exchange of racial slurs. (Trial date is set for July 27th in Vancouver youth court.)

Teen charged with murder of gas attendant

quote:
VANCOUVER – A 16-year-old youth arrested in connection with the death of a Maple Ridge service station attendant has been charged with second-degree murder.

The teen, who cannot be named publicly because of his age, made a brief first court appearance on Wednesday afternoon.

The judge was told he is a permanent ward of the Ministry of Children and Families. However, members of his family showed up in court on Wednesday looking distraught.


This killing was a case of trying to steal gas, and the victim being dragged to his death.

But in virtually every account of the Webster case,

Convicted B.C. man in Aaron Webster slaying seeks appeal of verdict

it notes that:

quote:
Webster was beaten to death with baseball bats in November 2001 in an area of the park where gays are known to meet for sex.

[...]

During the sentencing hearing, prosecutor Greg Weber said Webster was targeted because he was naked in Stanley Park and that's what drew the attention of the bat wielding men.


But these guys get charged with manslaughter. For beating a guy to death. With baseball bats. That they just "happened" to be carrying at night through Stanley Park.

What's wrong with this picture? Maybe that Aaron Webster was a middle-aged gay man instead of a photogenic young lad? Maybe that the "dirty old queer" was cruising for sex in the park, and "had it coming"?

So, here’s a question for some of our babble lawyers... how does the Crown go about deciding what charges to lay in certain cases? More specifically, what are the guidelines for deciding whether someone is charged with “manslaughter”, or “second-degree murder”?


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Gir Draxon
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posted 20 March 2005 07:31 AM      Profile for Gir Draxon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Cases like this one reaffirm my support for a tougher criminal justice system...
From: Arkham Asylum | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 20 March 2005 08:07 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We don't need "tougher laws" we need to bloody well apply the ones that are ALREADY there. As far as I'm concerned the Crown Attorney's office should be investigated over their mis-handling of this case. It is totally outrageous.
From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Gir Draxon
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posted 20 March 2005 08:12 AM      Profile for Gir Draxon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Hephaestion:
We don't need "tougher laws" we need to bloody well apply the ones that are ALREADY there.

Well I can agree with that, but I'd still like to see those scum in a chain gang.


From: Arkham Asylum | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
m0nkyman
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posted 20 March 2005 01:48 PM      Profile for m0nkyman   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'd like to see the crown prosecutor in the same chain gang. There is no doubt in my mind that the fact that the victim was gay and 'cruising' was a factor in the Crown's mishandling of this case. That is not excusable.
From: Go Left. Further. Bit Further. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Section 49
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posted 20 March 2005 02:37 PM      Profile for Section 49     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I doubt that the fact that Webster was gay had anything to do with the Crown's decisions in this case. It had much more to do with the fact that they had a shitty case against Cran and Rao -- basically the only evidence the Crown had was that of their young offender co-accused. These young offenders were not great witnesses, being accused of the same crime and having been offered a deal (they were tried as young offenders rather than as adults) in exchange for their testimony. The Crown could not further damage their credibility, and so had to accept their stories and present their version of events as the truth. The key to the youths' stories is that they claim to have been drunk (hence the manslaughter charge) and that they were there to target peeping toms, not homosexuals. The Crown had to go with that -- otherwise, it would have been forced to cross-examine their own witnesses on their statements. The defense would have had a field-day reducing the youth's credibility to nothing, and acquittals for both Rao and Cran would have followed.

That's the legal reality. As much as it sucks, the Crown did what it could do to bring some sort of "justice" to Webster's death. I am no big fan of the Crown's Office, but it is unfair to consider its actions as discrminatory without viewing them in context.


From: Toronto | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 20 March 2005 03:05 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Section 49:
I doubt that the fact that Webster was gay had anything to do with the Crown's decisions in this case.... The key to the youths' stories is that they claim to have been drunk (hence the manslaughter charge) and that they were there to target peeping toms, not homosexuals.

I disagree, MOST strenuously. They had the confession of the first murderer, who was never charged, that they had all gotten drunk and gone to the park — by his own admission — "looking for fags to beat up."

If that evidence was tainted by improper police procedure, then the #$%&* Vancouver cops should be under investigation alongside the Crown attorney's office. The evidence was there, and they fucked up.

And as for the alcohol, the confession of the first murderer, along with the fact that they took baseball bats to the park with them, seems to indicate a high degree of PREMEDIATATION, wouldn't you say?

If the VPD and the Crown attorney's office don't start doing their jobs properly, I would not be at all surprised to see some form of "taking justice into their own hands" to arise on the part of the gay community. Nor would I shed a single tear if a few of these punks started showing up in crumpled little heaps in parks themselves.

~~~~~~~~~~

Edited to add: And no one otheer than an utter moron (or a raging homophobe) would accept this asinine statement about "peeping toms" in the first place. It is the height of insult.

[ 20 March 2005: Message edited by: Hephaestion ]


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 20 March 2005 03:38 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I agree with section 49's analysis. I can assure you that Crowns will always try for a conviction for a more serious offence if they can prove it.

If the only Crown witness is saying "we were really, really drunk" then it is extremely hard for the Crown to argue to the jury that "they were not drunk."

And, since the defence needs only to raise a doubt on the question of intent, it is very likely that a manslaughter conviction was the best that could be hoped for.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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posted 20 March 2005 03:46 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Jeff or james maybe you could comment on this.

If they went for first degree murder, but the jury didnt see enough evidence for a first degreee murder charge (they were drunk, spur of the moment decision whatever) they they must acquit and then the person cannot be charged with another 'version' of the crime (manslaughter, assault etc) and run free?


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Denner
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posted 20 March 2005 03:47 PM      Profile for Denner     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hephaestion, our daughter's stalker was said to be 'only' a "peeping Tom' as well. BUT, we were warned to watch IF he would take it to a 'higher level'....eventually, he DID! (By breaking into her apartment, and in the dark, he stepped on her room-mate's head. He escaped while they were all screaming....banged his own head on the window while he was getting out, though )

They moved after that.

Aaron Webster was not so lucky. His 'peeping Tom hunter's' ALSO 'took it to the next level'-and should have been treated ACCORDINGLY!

Also, our daughter's gay friend had dated Aaron Webster, and they are just as incensed over this as anyone! (Except for maybe Webster's own family-I feel for those people the most, and could not even begin to IMAGINE what they are going through/went through...!)

I DO know what my daughter-and the rest of our family went through-in her case, and I do wish those Stanley Park MURDERERS had gone after our daughter's stalker instead!!

[ 20 March 2005: Message edited by: Denner ]


From: British Columbia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Denner
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posted 20 March 2005 03:53 PM      Profile for Denner     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"If they went for first degree murder, but the jury didnt see enough evidence for a first degreee murder charge (they were drunk, spur of the moment decision whatever)"

Yes, I agree that the JURY was "drunk"...!

(And yes, I KNOW that's not what was meant-as far as I'm concerned, being 'drunk" in the attackers's case-does NOT make for an EXCUSE for MURDER! I guess I would NOT have been selected for that jury duty...too bad....)


From: British Columbia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 20 March 2005 04:24 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
If they went for first degree murder, but the jury didnt see enough evidence for a first degreee murder charge (they were drunk, spur of the moment decision whatever) they they must acquit and then the person cannot be charged with another 'version' of the crime (manslaughter, assault etc) and run free?

No, it doesn't work that way. If you are not gulity of first degree murder, it may be that there was insufficient planning, but you still fully intended to kill. So that would be second degree murder.

If you were also so drunk that you could not form a specific intention to kill, or cause grievous bodily harm, then you would be guilty of manslaughter.

I suppose there must, in theory, be a defence of drunkenness to manslaughter, too. In other words, if you were so drunk you had no idea that the being you were striking was human, you thought it was a horse, then you would have a full defence. But I am not aware, in practice, of this ever occurring.

In this case, if the Crown had difficulty proving who did the killing (except for the one witness), the danger is that the two other defendants take the stand, and say, no, HE did it all by himself, we only watched. We told him not to. Depnding on the situation, that might raise a reasonable doubt, and then everybody walks.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 20 March 2005 04:29 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
They were NOT after "peeping toms"... that was a deliberate lie that was concocted to avoid facing a hate crimes charge — ie: they were after gay men, which is what the first murderer/informant *admitted* to the cops ON TAPE.

It was *not* "spur-of-the-moment" because if it was they would not have had baseball bats with them. It was (drunk or sober) PLANNED.

Bacchus: "Double jeopardy is (I think) only a concern in American courts, not Canadian ones. I'm sure Mr. House will help out here if I am wrong...


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 20 March 2005 04:33 PM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Gir Draxon:
Cases like this one reaffirm my support for a tougher criminal justice system...

Dribble


From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 20 March 2005 10:39 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
So I wonder if a bunch of people got liquored up, and went out with baseball bats looking for a "mailman" to beat up, and then beat a cop to death...

Do you think they'd only get three to six years?


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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posted 20 March 2005 11:19 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That wasnt my point jeff. What I meant was does the prosecutor have to pick a particular murder charge (1st, 2nd, manslaughter) and the jury has to stick to it, or can the jury say no to one and yes to another. (we dont think it was 1st degree but 2nd) Can they do that or must it be entirely a decision they make based on the original charge

Explaining this COULD help make the understanding of how this all happened easier.

Emphasis on could of course. If they could only pick one and stick with it then a manslaughter charge is appropriate.

And double jeopardy works here too Heph. You cannot be charged multiple times for the same crime. If you beat or lose on a charge then an appeal, if sufficient grounds exist, is it. You cant just charge him with someone else.


From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 20 March 2005 11:38 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Just be glad you're not an "Indian" in Canada Heph.

"Get those fucking Indians out of the park even if you have to draw guns to do it," before it came to Kettle and Stony Point Chief Tom Bressette on Sept. 6, 1995, just before native occupier Dudley George was killed by a provincial police sniper, the inquiry heard yesterday.[March 8, inquiry into state-sponsored murder of the first native person in Ontario since several decades ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 20 March 2005 11:50 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Hephaestion:
So I wonder if a bunch of people got liquored up, and went out with baseball bats looking for a "mailman" to beat up, and then beat a cop to death...

Do you think they'd only get three to six years?


Sentences like that used to be routine in vehicular homicide cases. I used to remark that the best way to kill someone and get away with it would be to get liquored up past the tolerance limit, and have some confederates arrange to toss your victim in the way of your car going 65 klicks down a back alley.

I've quit being amazed at the laxity of our justice system when it comes to clear cases of pre-meditation (such as the confession caught on tape re: the Aaron Webster killing, or the abundant proof that Enron planned to defraud the state of California).


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Section 49
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posted 20 March 2005 11:58 PM      Profile for Section 49     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Edited to add: And no one otheer than an utter moron (or a raging homophobe) would accept this asinine statement about "peeping toms" in the first place. It is the height of insult.

I agree. But that only further damaged the Crown's case. Not only did they have terrible witnesses from a technical point of view (accomplices, deals, etc.), they had terrible witnesses with terrible stories. Not much on which to found a prosecution.

At some point the Crown made a crucial decision in this case to go after the adult perpetrators along with the youths. They could have simply tried the youths as adults for murder, letting Rao and Cran walk away. Instead, they decided to give the youths a deal -- in exchange for their testimony against the adults, the youths were sentenced as youths. It was a gamble, and it failed.


From: Toronto | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 21 March 2005 05:05 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Section 49:
quote:
~~~~~~
And no one other than an utter moron (or a raging homophobe) would accept this asinine statement about "peeping toms" in the first place. It is the height of insult.
~~~~~~
I agree. But that only further damaged the Crown's case. Not only did they have terrible witnesses from a technical point of view (accomplices, deals, etc.), they had terrible witnesses with terrible stories. Not much on which to found a prosecution.

But wait! It wasn't the Crown's witness (the first accused, who was never charged) who came up with this lame-ass story about "peeping toms". He is on tape confessing that — at the instigation of the two older men — they had gone to the park "looking for fags to beat up".

The "peeping tom" garbage was first introduced by these two defendants and their weaselly lawyers in a blindingly obvious ploy to avoid being accused of a hate crime by suggesting a different motivation, as stupid as it was.

The Crown had no ties to this claim whatsoever, not even through its witness. Yet the prosecuters made no efforts at all to shred this paper-thin subterfuge, and allowed the defence's patently ridiculous claims to go unchallenged.

WHY???

It may be too late to get proper justice for Aaron Webster by making his murderers serve a fair sentence, but it is certainly *NOT* too late to demand that police and prosecutors' handling of this case be investigated. I am certainly not happy with how it has turned out, and neither are a lot of other folks, including Aaron's friends and family.

If an investigation can lessen the chances that this kind of travesty will happen again, and if it will increase the likelihood that police departments and Crown prosecutors will start treating crimes of violence against gays and lesbians with more tenaciousness and zeal, then it will have been worth it.

quote:
At some point the Crown made a crucial decision in this case to go after the adult perpetrators along with the youths. They could have simply tried the youths as adults for murder, letting Rao and Cran walk away.

Wait... I don't follow... Why couldn't they have just bumped the juveniles up to adult court and tried them all as adults? All they needed was for one of them to squeal on the others, and they already had that — on tape.

[ 21 March 2005: Message edited by: Hephaestion ]


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Gir Draxon
leftist-rightie and rightist-leftie
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posted 21 March 2005 05:19 AM      Profile for Gir Draxon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by remind:

Dribble


Ok, seriously, quit it. I made an unfunny joke on another message board. Must you reference it every time I post here?


From: Arkham Asylum | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 21 March 2005 12:21 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
What I meant was does the prosecutor have to pick a particular murder charge (1st, 2nd, manslaughter) and the jury has to stick to it, or can the jury say no to one and yes to another

I think my previous post answers that, but perhaps not clearly. A first degree murder charge contains within it at least two "lesser and included" charges, second degree murder and manslaughter. So the jury definitely could reject first degree and choose second, or reject first and second, and choose manslaughter.

Or they could acquit.

Generally I oppose any effort to increase sentences to provide "justice" to a named individual or group. Increased sentences don't actually provide any justice; and they don't necessarily teach anything, either.

In this case, I am not sure that Heph understands the rules concerning introduction of videotapes, the right to cross examine, etc. Cases always seem stronger to those who do not have to prove them in court.

But presuming racism or homophobia does not convince me. After all, we do not even have a sentence yet in this case. Manslaughter is punishable by anything up to life imprisonment. I would be surprised if the adult accused got less than eight or nine years.

Ask yourself what you were doing even five years ago, and what you would have missed if you had been in a cell all those years. Then ask what effect that sentence would have on your job and life prospects.

Demanding long sentences is a form of thoughtlessness.

[ 21 March 2005: Message edited by: jeff house ]


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 21 March 2005 01:30 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jeff house:

Generally I oppose any effort to increase sentences to provide "justice" to a named individual or group. Increased sentences don't actually provide any justice; and they don't necessarily teach anything, either.

One might say the same about sentences, period. And yet I don't see you arguing that the whole justice system should be overthrown. It often seems that the justice system is less there to do justice to individuals and more to add weight to our normative judgments of acceptable behaviour as a society. Given which, it seems to me that the case in question is failing to take into account a normative judgment of our society that while killing is unacceptable, killing strangers on the basis of bigotry is still more unacceptable. And specifically, that the prosecution failed seriously in not so much as bringing up the issue. It points in addition to what I often see as a more general failure in the prosecutorial system: Their narrow interest in gaining certain limited objectives often leads them to avoid mentioning very important aspects of the truth of the case. I sometimes think it would be worth while for there to be a third, neutral party in court whose job was to expose truths inconvenient to both sides.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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posted 21 March 2005 01:47 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Perfect, thanks Jeff. I didnt understand your previous posts clearly enough but this one was crystal.

Which means the crown gambled stupidly and lost


From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
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posted 21 March 2005 02:07 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Ask yourself what you were doing even five years ago, and what you would have missed if you had been in a cell all those years. Then ask what effect that sentence would have on your job and life prospects.

It certainly would have sucked to be locked up for those five years, alright. Good thing I didn't murder any homosexuals to get my jollies, eh?

And frankly, if I intentionally killed someone 5 years ago and walked out of jail today, I'd be laughing my head off. Sure, it would suck to be in prison, but not as bad as being dead, or mourning a loved one. I'm betting the dead guy would trade places with me in a New York minute, so why would I be feeling bad?? Thanks for the second chance, chumps!


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Denner
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posted 21 March 2005 02:53 PM      Profile for Denner     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Ask yourself what you were doing even five years ago, and what you would have missed if you had been in a cell all those years. Then ask what effect that sentence would have on your job and life prospects."'

Sorry, Jeff-I am too busy 'asking myself' what AARON has 'missed'...(and is going to be missing...)


From: British Columbia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 21 March 2005 04:16 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Funny how so many of us are very compassionate towards prisoners and we are horrified by the death penalty etc... and we tend to condemn police and prosecutrors who are heartless thugs etc... EXCEPT when it is a gay-bashing and then all of a sudden we are calling for vigilante justice and demanding incredibly long sentences and even implying that only execution of the perpetrators will do!

The fact is that being charged with even the most minor crimes is a totally harrowing experience that would in itself be enough to deter any but the most hardened criminals.

Just being arrested and booked and being publicly humilated and idenytified as a killer and having to sell off all your assets to afford legal counsel and then spending time in jail with hardened crimin als and then having to live the rest oif your life with a criminal record whihc mweans you cannot take any good jobs and you can probably never cross any international border again for the rest of your life. you are not bondable, you may never be able to get any credit etc... etc... etc...

Nothing will bring back Aaron Webster, but my point is that whether the killers get 2 years, 5 years or 20 years - for all intents and purposes their lives are probably totally shattered.


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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posted 21 March 2005 04:24 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Until 3 or 5 years has gone by and they can get a pardon, thus erasing their criminal conviction.

Cant remember the time frame for a pardon, could even be 2 years


From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
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posted 21 March 2005 04:25 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The fact is that being charged with even the most minor crimes is a totally harrowing experience that would in itself be enough to deter any but the most hardened criminals.

Which is why the crime rate in Canada hovers near Zero, "hardened" crimes notwithstanding.

quote:
Nothing will bring back Aaron Webster, but my point is that whether the killers get 2 years, 5 years or 20 years - for all intents and purposes their lives are probably totally shattered.

Would Aaron trade places with them, if he could? If so, then they still managed to get the good end of the deal.

If you get 10 years for stealing my car, there's no way I'd trade places with you. I'll buy a new car while you rot in the klink.

But if you get five years for killing someone I love, I'd happily take your place to bring them back. Five years would be nothing compared to a life mourning a parent or a spouse. How is it justice that in 5 years you'll be out showing off your new prison tattoo and bragging to your friends about what a "gangster" you are now, while I'm still mourning. Whose life has really been shattered in that case??

Oh, wait. You're not bondable and might have to turn down a lucrative job making beds at the TravelLodge. I guess you're the real victim after all.


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 21 March 2005 04:34 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jeff house:
Generally I oppose any effort to increase sentences to provide "justice" to a named individual or group. Increased sentences don't actually provide any justice; and they don't necessarily teach anything, either.

And what do the current sentences "teach" anyone? That if you get drunk first, it won't be called "murder", even if it IS? If you say you were looking to beat up "peeping toms" (or "jaywalkers", or some other ridiculous crap) it won't be challenged, even if you were really specifically targeting Asians, or Jews, or women, or queers?

quote:
In this case, I am not sure that Heph understands the rules concerning introduction of videotapes, the right to cross examine, etc. Cases always seem stronger to those who do not have to prove them in court.

I don't think that you understand, Jeff. The videotape was a videotaped confession of the first, uncharged accused, wherein he explained, on the record, what they did that night, their motivations, and so on, AND he was fully aware that he was being videotapes AND that it would be used in court. What rules prohiit the use of this videotape, or the information gained from it? None that I am aware of...

quote:
But presuming racism or homophobia does not convince me. After all, we do not even have a sentence yet in this case. Manslaughter is punishable by anything up to life imprisonment. I would be surprised if the adult accused got less than eight or nine years.

I am unsure what you are talking about, Jeff. The last of the murderers HAVE been sentenced now. Cran got six years, and is arguing that it is too much...

quote:
Justice Mary Humphries ruled there was no evidence the attack on Webster (pictured) was motivated by bias, prejudice or hatred, which drew criticism from the city's gay community.

She sentenced Cran to six years in prison. His lawyer, Kris Pechet, argued Friday the verdict in his client's case was unfair and unreasonable.


So go ahead and be surprised. It IS "less than eight or nine years"... and there was NO attempt to challenge Cran's absurd claim about "peeping toms" OR to invoke the hate crime provisions.

This case STINKS, and a lot of that stench is coming out of the Crown Attorney's office.

[ 21 March 2005: Message edited by: Hephaestion ]


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
rabble-rouser
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posted 21 March 2005 04:42 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stockholm:
Just being arrested and booked and being publicly humilated and idenytified as a killer and having to sell off all your assets to afford legal counsel and then spending time in jail with hardened crimin als and then having to live the rest oif your life with a criminal record whihc mweans you cannot take any good jobs and you can probably never cross any international border again for the rest of your life. you are not bondable, you may never be able to get any credit etc... etc... etc...

Nothing will bring back Aaron Webster, but my point is that whether the killers get 2 years, 5 years or 20 years - for all intents and purposes their lives are probably totally shattered.


Totally shattered? Phhhhfffttt!!! Yeah, right!! Unless you're THIS scumbag...

Who got OFF on a measily fucking MANSLAUGHTER charge for brutally beating a man to death. I bet he's really "shattered" all right.


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
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posted 21 March 2005 04:50 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
He looks all tough-guy defiant on the outside, but I bet on the inside he's crying like a little boy at the damage this will do to his "street cred". I'll bet that on any given Saturday night, you'll find this shell-of-his-former-self at a bar or nightclub, drinking away his sorrows and trying his best to put the shattered bits of his life together again.
From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 21 March 2005 05:07 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sorry, but that is our system. You are innocent until proven guilty. If the crown's case was too weak to convict the guy then that's too bad. Imagine how you would feel if you had a family member on the Air India plane that was blown up seeing the guys who everyone knows did it - get off "scot-free".

But I would rather see 10 guilty people go free than see one innocent person be wrongly found guilty and imprisoned.

And by the way, you can APPLY for a pardon after 5 years, but you are more likely to be granted that pardon if you were shoplifter than if you were convicted of manslaughter. For what its worth, as inadequate as it may seem, these guys will be dogged by their role in this case for the rest of their lives.


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 21 March 2005 05:17 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And I maintain, Stock, that the reason that this creep was not proved guilty, and that the others got off so lightly, is that the Crown Attorneys were negligent, if not actually biased against gay people. Either way, they did not do their job properly, and there needs to be an investigation.
From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Section 49
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posted 21 March 2005 07:47 PM      Profile for Section 49     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
But wait! It wasn't the Crown's witness (the first accused, who was never charged) who came up with this lame-ass story about "peeping toms". He is on tape confessing that — at the instigation of the two older men — they had gone to the park "looking for fags to beat up".

Hepheastion, I know that you know a lot more about this case than I do, but I am confused -- who is this witness? Everything I've read pointed to the involvement of 4 persons in the killing: the two youths, Cran, and Rao. In the statement that finally broke the case, the first youth (JS) confessed to being at the scene with bats, but said he was drunk and that they were there for peeping toms (part of the transcript is included in Romilly J's decision, found here . Similarly for the other youth. Cran and Rao have never testified. Who is the fifth witness you are referring to? He wasn't used at trial, from what I've read.


From: Toronto | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
rabble-rouser
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posted 21 March 2005 07:52 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A six year sentence is somewhat light, though not if he served any pretrial custody. None of the stories I saw mention whether or not he was on bail at the time of the sentencing.

Andn videotapes may or may not be usable in court. I appreciate that Heph thinks these are, but it may be quite a bit more complicated than he is prepared to accept.

For example, what does the Crown do if the guy who spoke on video says: "Actually, I made that up. I committed the crime myself while they just watched."

Will the jury convict the others on that evidence? I presume this is the kind of scenario that the Crown was worried about.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 21 March 2005 08:01 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, for Pete's sake, Mr. House. I've seen plenty of cases where the prosecution leaned hard on way flimsier evidence.
From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 21 March 2005 09:26 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Crown Attorneys were negligent, if not actually biased against gay people.

Feh...half the prosecutors in BC are probably gay or lesbian themselves. If you want to find two of the most hyper politically correct gay-positive professions in the world - try the kinds of people who become crown attorneys and judges in Vancouver.

It is ridiculously common that crowns have to plea bargain or reduce charges etc...etc...etc... because the case has weaknesses of various kinds. You are only upset because in this particular case there is a gay angle - but this happens all the time.


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
rabble-rouser
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posted 21 March 2005 10:41 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's nice to know that you have branched out from being merely an expert in politics half a country (or even half the world) away, to being and expert in the law, the sexual orientation of the lawyers and judges involved and what I am thinking as well, Stockholm.

Do us all a favour and dry up for a bit, huh?

Section 49—

I will put together a clear and comprehensive overview of this case and post it here for you later tonight. Look for it tomorrow.


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 22 March 2005 02:05 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jeff house:
Demanding long sentences is a form of thoughtlessness.

It's also a helluva lot more than just "thoughtlessness" to take a baseball bat, admittedly "looking for fags to beat up", and whomp someone to death with it.

Rao must have thought all his Christmases came at once when he was acquitted of something one of his buddies confessed to on fucking videotape.

[ 22 March 2005: Message edited by: DrConway ]


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
rabble-rouser
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posted 10 September 2005 11:25 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Judge refuses to release teen in prison for gay man's murder

quote:
A youth court judge refused Friday to allow a man who took part in the fatal beating of a gay man in Vancouver's Stanley Park to serve the rest of his sentence in the community.

The man's lawyer, Phil Rankin, argued Thursday that the 20-year-old wants to learn a trade and spend time with his baby daughter, who was born after he was imprisoned.

Judge Jodie Werier, however, rejected the argument.

She said the initial sentence she imposed after the youth pleaded guilty was the maximum allowable.

It was ``intended to have meaningful consequences,'' she said.

``I decline to exercise my discretion to change (the youth's) custodial status at this time.''

Werier said the sentence was intended to protect society and to denounce the crime.

``The societal interest component has not been satisfied,'' she said.

The man is serving a three-year sentence for manslaughter after pleading guilty in 2004 to the killing of Aaron Webster, 41. At sentencing, Werier ordered he serve two years in jail and one year in open custody.

[...]

The youth has completed a year and four months of his term.

The man was a youth at the time of the offence and cannot be named under youth crime legislation.

Webster's cousin, Fred Norman, was pleased with Werier's decision but said the whole case indicates major flaws in the justice system.

``It's too bad he's not serving longer,'' Norman said. ''Three years is just still not long enough. The justice system doesn't work for serious crime.

``Crime's crime but this is taking a human life. There's something wrong with them and they should be put away for a long time to think about what they've done.''

Norman rejected Rankin's suggestion the man needed to bond with his new child.

``That's crap,'' he said. ``We've lost a family member. They'll use anything.



From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
The Baboon
rabble-rouser
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posted 11 September 2005 08:07 AM      Profile for The Baboon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Okay, wait wait wait. Rao was found not guilty, right? Did it occur to anyone that maybe there was a reasonable doubt as to whether or not he did it?
From: Interior British Columbia | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 11 September 2005 08:49 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Of course he didn't do it. He was just there to hold the bats of the other four, who were after "peeping Toms", sort of like a caddy. Almost an innocent bystander, really.
From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
The Baboon
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posted 11 September 2005 08:59 AM      Profile for The Baboon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
But how do you know what happened? Where you there? Does anyone here know why the judge said there wasn't enough evidence? I'm sure he elaborated, and I'd be interested in knowing.
From: Interior British Columbia | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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Babbler # 4795

posted 11 September 2005 09:45 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Baboon:

...I'd be interested in knowing.


Here's a compendium of news stories about the murder and subsequent trials.

If you are really interested in knowing (as much as possible) what happened, though, I'd suggest contacting Jim Deva, co-owner of Little Sisters Bookstore, who sat through all the trials and listened to all of the testimony. At the very least, Deva would highlight some facts that the Crown attorneys did not seem to think it was important to stress:

quote:
During the recent trial of Cran and Rao, the Crown did not highlight Webster's sexual orientation in cross-examination of key witnesses, according to Deva. "All the witnesses used the words peeping Tom, and emphasized that," he said. "That's what a lot of people found totally annoying."


straight.com

quote:
The presiding judge, Justice Mary Humphries, was offered no evidence by either the defence or prosecution that would have allowed her to apply a hate-crime designation. Neither Webster's homosexuality nor the significance of where he was killed came up in any of the trials.


straight.com

Call me suspicious, but when the fact that Webster was gay is not even a focus of attention, and the Crown attorney's office accepts (without questioning) the assertion that these thugs were after "peeping toms"... I wouldn't rely too heavily on the cops *or* the Crown attorney for a clear view of the events in question.

From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 01 December 2005 07:57 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Aaron Webster's murderer freed, while judge lectures his family

quote:
Two years after a man went to jail as a young offender for the deadly beating of a gay man, a judge freed him Wednesday and urged the victim's family to try to forgive the killer.

Judge Valmond Romilly of provincial youth court said the 21-year-old man now needs help to salvage some of his life as he enters adulthood.

"The sole preoccupation at this stage should be to help the youth, who committed a terrible offence, while still a youth," Romilly said.

The man's release is mandatory and allows him to serve the last

one-third of his sentence in the community. He was given three years in prison for manslaughter after admitting to his part in the fatal beating of Aaron Webster, 41, in Vancouver's Stanley Park in 2001.

[...]

Just before he read out the man's conditions for release, Romilly said to family members sitting in the gallery that it was "time to move on and forgive."

He then quoted William Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice: "The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven."

[...]

Romilly noted that the man exhausted all the educational programs while he was in detention, and completed counseling and life-skills programs.

"He is assessed as a low risk to the community," said Romilly.

The man has been ordered to live with his father and complete his education program. He has also been ordered to abide by a 10 pm to 6 am curfew, stay away from alcohol and weapons, including golf clubs and baseball bats, and attend school on a regular basis.


Well. Isn't that just poetic as all hell. Shakespeare and everything. I bet there wasn't a fucking dry eye in the courtroom, eh?

And what's all this about "low risk to the community"? Would that be the general public, or the "peeping tom" community? Did his "educational programs" include NOT MURDERING GAY MEN?!

What utter fucking, contemptible bullshit!

From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Ichy Smith
rabble-rouser
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posted 01 December 2005 09:55 AM      Profile for Ichy Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jeff house:

I think my previous post answers that, but perhaps not clearly. A first degree murder charge contains within it at least two "lesser and included" charges, second degree murder and manslaughter. So the jury definitely could reject first degree and choose second, or reject first and second, and choose manslaughter.

Or they could acquit.

Generally I oppose any effort to increase sentences to provide "justice" to a named individual or group. Increased sentences don't actually provide any justice; and they don't necessarily teach anything, either.

In this case, I am not sure that Heph understands the rules concerning introduction of videotapes, the right to cross examine, etc. Cases always seem stronger to those who do not have to prove them in court.

But presuming racism or homophobia does not convince me. After all, we do not even have a sentence yet in this case. Manslaughter is punishable by anything up to life imprisonment. I would be surprised if the adult accused got less than eight or nine years.

Ask yourself what you were doing even five years ago, and what you would have missed if you had been in a cell all those years. Then ask what effect that sentence would have on your job and life prospects.

Demanding long sentences is a form of thoughtlessness.

[ 21 March 2005: Message edited by: jeff house ]



I am beginning to not like Mr House. I like people who post either stuff I agree with, or disagree with. In the first place, putting people in prison is just plain stupid cause it doesn't make them not offend, nor does it make anybody else not offend. On the other hand, I would like toss those guys rot in prison for 20 years and be on parole for the rest of their lives.

I think we too often are "forgiving" people who do horrible things. It also appears to me that often the crown attorneys are more interested in drug crimes than personal injury crimes.

What does it say to people when operating a marijuana grow operation is a bigger crime than Murder. Perhaps Canadians need to talk about the priorities of the police and the Crown attornies office. Perhaps we need to question politicians about why this is the policy of our government.

Gee, an election is happening, Maybe we could ask if/when politicians come to our doors.....


From: ontario | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Feral14
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10892

posted 01 December 2005 10:18 AM      Profile for Feral14     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
"He is assessed as a low risk to the community"

I can only imagine that the judge was referring only to the str8 community.


From: It was always about the thump-thumpa | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
Crippled_Newsie
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Babbler # 7024

posted 01 December 2005 12:14 PM      Profile for Crippled_Newsie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Hephaestion:

The man has been ordered to live with his father and complete his education program. He has also been ordered to abide by a 10 pm to 6 am curfew, stay away from alcohol and weapons, including golf clubs and baseball bats, and attend school on a regular basis.

How very inconvenient for this guy. I guess the next gay man he murders will have to be done with his bare hands, in broad daylight.

I note also that he is not ordered to stay away from gay people. How'd you like to be a gay teenager working one register down from this blood- and brain-covered animal at the local Burger King?

How strict that he has to live with dear old Dad--SUCH an imposition on the dear killer in the family. Goodness knows the parents of this murderous piece of shit have demonstrated their amply demonstrated what kind of kids they're capable of raising.


From: It's all about the thumpa thumpa. | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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Babbler # 3308

posted 01 December 2005 04:15 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I gotta wonder--say some gays decided to get together and beat this guy to death. Could they rely on similarly lenient law enforcement? Might it seem worth a chance of two years in jail to get rid of this threat and send a message to others who might be tempted to imitate him? Does this fact indicate that the sentencing, and indeed the Crown's whole approach to this case, amounts to both bringing the reputation of the law into disrepute and encouraging vigilantism?

On the other hand, if they *couldn't* rely on similarly lenient law enforcement, then it's just a clear-cut case of bigotry.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged

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