Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Would You Buy a Used Car from this Judge?

"Truly reprehensible" was the quoted headline on the Svekla sentencing. Seventeen years must pass before the monster will be eligible for parole after murdering a young woman and "offering an indignity to human remains." Sterling Sanderman, who sentenced Svekla, appeared to have some difficulty conveying the enormity of the crime, or perhaps, like a lot of Canadian judges, he doesn't consider murder to be all that of an enormity. "In another era, maybe another century, Mr. Svekla would be known as a cad, he'd be known as a louse, he'd be known as a lowlife," Sanderman said, running through the kind of evil lexicon that we routinely hear applied to former lovers and used car salesmen. And then to top off this devastating critique, Sanderman actually did compare the murderer -unfavourably- to a used car salesman! 
      Wrong, Mr. Sanderman. In another age, an age that still had some moral force behind its laws and some meaning behind its words, Svekla would have been known for exactly what he is, a brutal, cold blooded and despicable murderer. And his life sentence would have been exactly that, life. The criminal only drew what has now become a remarkable amount of time behind bars because of his callous treatment of the body after the killing. Indeed, Sanderman appeared to dwell on the murderer's cruelty to a corpse and "unbelievable insensitivity" after the killing than on the unbelievable "insensitivity" of the killing itself. 
      Otherwise, it seems, Sanderman would have been inclined to let Thomas Svekla back out on the streets after the typical amount of canadian durance, probably a decade or so, with even that reduced for good behaviour. People are serving longer sentences for looking at kiddie porn or defrauding grandma in this country than they are for committing what used to be known as the capital offense. Like the man said, truly reprehensible!

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