Friday, 18 August 2017

Some cops are really rotten apples  (Part One)                                        

From the streets of Vancouver and other cities all across Canada including the bustling streets of Toronto, there is a renaissance in policing, albeit a reluctant one for some. Greater accountability, due to technological advances, has brought to the public eye the sometimes ugly head of street level enforcement. It has also revealed the dynamic and sometimes violent situations officers encounter. For better or for worse, this is both the police officer’s and the citizen’s new reality

As Sir Robert Peel, the founder of modern policing described it; “The police are the public and the public are the police.” unquote

Let us as a society remember that a dependable and accountable police service is essential to the efficient and just functioning of our society. Unfortunately, it is the perception of lacking accountability that has led the public to question policing as an honest institution. The institution of policing must strive for perfection, and hold officers to account when they stray. But what part does the citizenry play in this integral relationship?

We as a society cannot demand that a police officer be everything to everyone. We cannot expect them to be social workers, mental health professionals, and medical experts in every scenario. There are people far more qualified than police officers to deal with those kinds of problems.

A police officer isn’t expected to be perfect at all times when confronted with varies situations just as it is impossible to expect that every citizen be perfect at all times when they too are confronted with varies uncomfortable situations.

Police officers wrestle with these same imperfections that we as citizens also have had to do on occasions. We as a citizenry must see a police officer as a human being. And as a human being they can expect empathy from the citizenry which is not the only antidote for the broken relationship. They, as an institution, must realize that officers across our municipalities, provinces and country are responsible for society’s distrust in their practices. Like all relationships, officers must meet the citizenry half way. Nowadays, police officers must recognize that bad business as usual is no longer appropriate or acceptable. They as individuals within their profession must remember the reason why they take to the streets and their offices everyday. We as citizens have to realize that when they are on our streets, they are emotional, scared, stubborn, imperfect and yet for many police officers, they are also courageous.

The difference between an officer and a citizen however, is that when an officer makes a decision, right or wrong, perfect or imperfect, often someone’s freedom is taken or in the cases of Sammy Yatim and Micheal Brown who were shot to death by police officers; a life is lost.

We don’t expect police officers to be placed on a pedestal above other citizens. In fact, I believe that if you were to ask a police officer, they would undoubtedly explain that they have no desire for being placed on such a pedestal.

What I am proposing is that we see officers as human beings rife with all the imperfections that accompany any human being. If citizens see an officer through her or his lens, then maybe the citizens will also find empathy for the complex positions that an officer can find herself or himself in.

Empathy from the citizenry is not the only antidote for the fractured relationship between them and citizens. We citizens and police officers alike realize that there are bad officers in our streets, municipalities, provinces and country who are responsible for society’s distrust for their unscrupulous practices. Like all relationships, officers must meet the citizenry half way. Police officers must recognize that disreputable conduct as usual is no longer appropriate or acceptable when certain police officers and their police forces fumble downward. They as individuals within their profession must remember the reason why they take to the streets and offices everyday.  They must fully uphold their motto to serve and protect all citizens, even those they don’t like.  Alas, many police officers don’t adhere to that motto.

We must remember that at some point, being a police officer meant making our cities, countries and world a better place for our families and neighbors. And they must fight, at all costs, the apt insight by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, “Be careful when you fight monsters, lest you become one yourself.”

Citizens and police officers alike must realize that we are all fallible and for that reason, all of society must begin to empathize with the successes and failures in today’s policing environment. Citizens must realize that honest and decent police officers also suffer from the antics of bad police officers.

Mathew Tanel of Toronto made some interesting remarks on this subject which I will include in this article.

Much ink has been spilled about the “few bad apples” in Toronto’s police, but Toronto police have been behaving badly, as an integral part of their culture, for some time.

“Look at their behaviour during the G20: (Summit held in Toronto) not only those officers removing their identification to legitimize their behaviour as a violent mob, attacking “civilians,” but the unconscionable (and illegal) “kettling” (encircling them and not letting them leave) law-abiding citizens at Queen and Spadina.

“Const. Forcillo repeatedly cited his training as justification for shooting Sammy Yatim, an argument eerily similar to Nazi Germany’s military “just following orders.” Now a police officer is cited for pumping 14 bullets into a stationary vehicle, and four officers charged with perjury and obstruction of justice.

I believe that the police see themselves as a highly weaponized para-military organization, and in their interaction with the public, their responsibility is apprehending “bad guys.” If you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

“What the public needs is a cultural shift: these highly paid professionals must see themselves as part of the community they serve, their training must become more customer-focused, nuanced and skilled. They must learn to serve, not to rule. In that model, I don’t think there is room for a foul-mouthed bully like Forcillo, but I suspect he is not as much of an exception as we would like to believe.

“And, by the way, in this revised scenario, there should be no room for the police to use hollow-point bullets, whose only feature is that they are more likely to maim and kill than regular bullets, nor for the assault weapons now on order. If we are going to pay these people more than $100,000 a year (on average), we should expect a commensurate level of professionalism.”  unquote

Brigitte Nowak of Toronto also made some interesting remarks on this subject which I will also include in this article.

It’s hard to be a cop in Toronto at the moment. A bloody handful of brutality, deceit and allegations of perjury have raised questions about the integrity of the Toronto Police Service. The blue code of silence that prevents honest officers from reporting wrongdoing in their departments prevails.

“The public has learned the only way to snag cops is to catch them on camera. They are using their cellphones almost on impulse looking for some impropriety. Toronto police are having body cams slapped on them. However will the public really want to see what cops see?

“The police were hired to help people. Some bad things have happened and suddenly they are the bad guys.” unquote

Vincent Last of Brampton also made some interesting remarks on this subject which I will include in this article.

“The all-to-frequent troubling incidents somewhat extend from some peace officers’ limited understanding of their authority and responsibilities. The Toronto Star has for years had periods of themed-reporting when unsupported-in-law police practices focused on select communities.

“I remember my disappointment when the steam ran out of the Star’s reporting on the number of “invisible” offences for which some drivers were solely charged. The whole carding issue, though not yet dead, has not yet been properly addressed by the press. Too often, news reporting fails to bring a story to proper conclusion. The commercial media claims the right to inform the public, yet passes on the responsibility to educate.

“In today’s Wheels section, (of the Star) a representative of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation is quoted as saying, “In Ontario, police have the Highway Traffic Act authority to ask for driver’s licence, vehicle permit and insurance, if there are reasonable and probable grounds for a traffic stop.”

“Although the law isn’t explicitly written like that, the implication, when taking all relevant laws into account, is that police have to operate within the bounds of all laws, and it is those laws that define what is, and what is not, the lawful performance of a peace officer’s duty; which includes the requirement to have reasonable and probable grounds that an offence has been committed.

“This is the foundation upon which a peace officer’s training should focus (to) know the boundaries and how to operate within them. Too many wear the uniform or otherwise carry the badge but do not understand the limitations of the authority with which they have been entrusted.” unquote

Brian Williams of Belleville also made some interesting remarks on this subject which I will include in this article.

“Police misconduct and their getting away with only a slap on the wrist doesn’t seem anomalous to me. There are daily reports of some form of police bullying. man-handling, using excessive force, escalating situations rather than calming them  and finally of police wounding and killing citizens. Whether they are “black” or “mentally ill” seems to me to be besides the basic point of unnecessary and excessive reactions by police that end up killing unarmed (or armed with scissors or a small blade) citizens.

“I have been trying to get figures for the number of deaths caused by police in a year in Canada, in Ontario, in Toronto with no success. Are these tallies being kept? Can they be accessed? As the crime rate has declined, police violence has increased. I think that the training police receive has them use their bodies and voice to intimidate citizens, even ones like me.

“It seems we have a lot of police still standing around doing nothing at every construction site, other police grabbing speeders as a money grab rather than service — and when a robbery is called in one is told they can’t do anything. Yes, change is needed. But it’s not a question of image.” unquote

Michael Farrell of Oakville said, “Toronto’s population needs to be vigilant when it comes to cops; our police have a serious, serious problem on their hands. It’s not just the big crimes they (allegedly) commit or the ones they have been convicted for; it’s the everyday dishonesty and entitlements exhibited by the rank and file that should really unnerve and enrage our citizens. Rogue cops? Nonsense. This stuff is systemic. I turn on my phone’s camera the instant I spot a cruiser, just in case. Our uniformed, non-informed and reckless police constables are capable of anything. That’s the rule, not the exception.” unquote

Martina Gail of Toronto said, “Never in our nation’s history had Canadians seen such lawlessness on the part of our once-proud TPS (Toronto Police Service) until the G20. And how was it handled? The TPS’s command, from the chief on down, downplayed the evidence and retreated to bureaucratic paralysis while the rank and file circled the wagons, claiming to not recognize any of their fellow officers.

“Meanwhile, the Police Services Board cowered and shamefully left the force to sort itself out. As we all know, the vast majority of offending front-line police and their commanding officers were never meaningfully held to account for their brutal and illegal actions. Now, five years later, there’s increasing incidents of cops going Rambo with their firearms, lying, planting evidence and assisting the cover-up of wrongful policing by fellow officers.

“Public trust of the TPS took a traumatizing blow during the G20. But obfuscation by those bodies that could have brought justice and restored public confidence has simply opened the door to further corruption and a downward spiral of public trust.” unquote

There are many other citizens who have nothing but contempt for far too many of the members of the Toronto Police Service. That is most unfortunate because the vast majority of the police officers in Toronto are decent law-biding citizens. It is the rotten apples that spoil the images of the remainder of the police officers in the barrel. 

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Is using profanity really that necessary?
Profanity is a socially offensive language which may also be referred to as  bad language, strong language,  offensive language, coarse language,  foul language, vulgar  language’ lewd  language, dirty words and swear words  but whatever it is referred to, it is a bad choice of words or expletives. The use of such language is referred to as swearing, cursing or cussing. Used in this sense, profanity is a subset  of a language's lexicon that is generally considered to be strongly impolite, rude or offensive. It can show a debasement of someone or something, or show intense emotion about someone or something. In its more literal sense, "profanity" refers to a lack of respect for things and persons that or who may in fact be deserving of respect as well as causing religious offense.

Strong language is by no means a recent phenomenon. Those who use profanity will say, So what if anything said is morally wrong when using some occasional use of colorful language in a conversation.”

Although the Bible doesn’t explicitly ban the use of profanity, there are scriptures that seem to discourage it. Here is a quote from the scriptures in which the Bible records instances, such as the mention of men who "eat their own dung, (feces) and drink their own piss" in the Authorized King James Version of the 1611 translation of Hebrew text of 2 Kings 18:27.

In the United States and in other countries, the citizens are no strangers to profanity. They do it in the home, in the television shows and even in the workplace, schools and playgrounds etc. Foul language has become quite commonplace. But that does not mean that all Americans and others actually like using or hearing it.

How many people use profanity? A recent Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that 74 percent of women, and 60 percent of men in the United States are upset by listening to profanity even some of the time. Everybody swears—0.3 per cent to 0.7 per cent of the time on average, according to research even if moderately and euphemistically, replacing fucking with, say, fudge or like in movies, effing. But the meaning remains clear. It’s a little lexicon game the prudish and pedantic play in their conversations with one another.  And yet, face to face swearing is still considered taboo in many places and in many circumstances, where words meet our ears as language evolves culturally.

Many people also consider the rules about profanity to be a cultural issue. Some countries are more relaxed about using cuss words in everyday conversations. Even many Christians don’t adhere to a complete ban on profanity.

I am sure that some of my prudish readers will still take me to task for my views in this article complaining that they have to keep my views away from their young children to shield their eyes from objectionable words and phrases that is in this article and others in my blog. Am I expected to write to the level of an impressionable six year-old prude? Have their parents listened to the filthy words expressed in movies while their children are watching the same program on TV and not sent their children out of the room? 

In these modern times, the swearing jargon is more commonly devolved from the scatological–a hierarchy of waste from a human or animal’s posterior as one linguist put it: from the words “crap, shit and fart” that are now ho-hum. Is there really anything wrong saying, “I have to take a shit.” or. “I have to take a pee? When I was a kid on a farm, the expression given when one had to pee was, “I am going to see a horse about some water.” That was only said to protect our ears from hearing profanity. Notwithstanding that, those first words still don’t pass the sniff-test of editors of newspapers, with respect to the bodily functions in their vocabulary. I on the other hand, don’t pull any punches in my articles. I tell it like it really is. If any of my readers don’t like my choice of words, their relief is always within inches of the mouse in order to shut down their computer so that their lives can continue to be sanitized.   

In my opinion, I believe that when someone swears, it is for the most part because they are expressing their anger about something or someone they disapprove of.
Of course when it's not necessary to use swear words, these people who use them are often considered less intelligent and less credible than those who do not use swear words. There may be a valid point there. I will give you an example.

Someone is looking at a beautiful sunset. He turns to someone standing next to him and exclaims. “That is a fucking beautiful sunset.” An intelligent person would say, “That is an exceptionally beautiful sunset.”  

You really don't win an argument by swearing. You don't prove that you are tough, smart or articulate. You don't earn respect or admiration. You don't motivate, you intimidate. Swearing doesn't get you hired, promoted, or romantically connected unless you are talking to similar a foul-mouth person.   

As conventional thinking would have it, profanity is indeed something that should be limited in your life, or at the very least, to preserve your reputation and set a good example for your children.

I remember visiting an acquaintance in his home and while I was there, his young sons were constantly swearing. He then shouted to them, “Stop your fucking swearing!”  It is no small wonder that his sons  continue to swear in public.

I will forever have an image of my mother staring me down with soap in her hand, warning me not to swear again. 

 I have however used profanity on occasion but never in front of my two daughters or in front of my five grandchildren. Hence, none of them used profanity in my presence.  That doesn`t mean that they don`t swear.

According to researchers from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, U.K., they concluded that "social" or "annoyance" swearing can make the workplace more pleasurable and even strengthen bonds between employees. That doesn’t make any sense to me.

Many years ago, there was a real mouthy woman in our office. She used profanity a great deal of the time when talking to us. It was annoying to me and others in the office. One day I told her that she is acting like a slut when she talks like that. She went to the boss and told him that I called her a slut. The boss asked me if I called her a slut. I told him that I had proof that she was a slut. He didn’t ask what proof I had. She and her husband later met with the boss and the boss told them that I had proof that she was a slut. She subsequently quit her job.

They and the boss thought I had proof that she was a woman who had many casual sex partners. That was not what I implied. The word slut also connotes someone who does not care that much about herself.  Obviously, any woman who uses foul language in the presence of men and women doesn`t really care about the image she portrays to them.  

While swearing in public has been found to promote a sense of "oneness" among employees and friends, swearing out of annoyance is an effective "relief mechanism" for stress, replacing a more "primitive physical aggression. Using the word “Oh fuck” can feel good when you’ve just slammed the car door on your hand. It is better than saying, “Oh goodness me.”

Saying a profanity lets off emotional and physiological steam. In moments of acute anger, it’s certainly preferable as a substitute to physical violence. And just as often, there’s no conscious undercurrent, no cognitive thinking it out before erupting into a blue streak of profanity anymore than you can control a sneeze. It is mostly cathartic since it is a kind of medicine which can literally make what hurts less painful by swearing a blue streak of profanity.

Of course, even social swearing has its limits. If swearing becomes excessive or verbally abusive, it becomes a form of bullying. This, far from boosting worker morale, can lead to loss of productivity, absenteeism, depression, low morale and stress to the recipient of the profanity. It’s like using the horn on your car because with a brief toot-toot warning and it is more appropriate than an infuriated blare. Did you know that it is against the law to blow your car horn for any reason in the City of Caracas?  When I was in Cairo, I rarely ever heard a car horn being blown. Unfortunately, in the United States and in Canada, when drivers blow their horns, it is as if they are witnessing Jesus Christ descending from heaven.  

Scientific studies have shown that teeing off with a spray of vulgarities has a corresponding physical effect such as pupils dilating, pores opening, heart rate increasing. Further, your blood pressure will probably spike if all those exclamatory words are kept inside you so it is necessary to let off some steam so to speak and using profanity is a safety valve for your heart. 

It can be socially acceptable to swear when you're amongst friends who also swear, but outside of such a safe environment, however, using profanity casually is likely to offend someone within earshot who doesn’t like to hear profanity. For example, would you swear in front of your priest?

As I said earlier, I have resorted to profanity on occasion. However there are three types of words I never use. They are as follows;

1. Mother fucker. I never call anyone by that name. It is highly unlikely that anyone has ever had sexual intercourse with his own mother. It is an extreme insult even though the person who uses that phase knows that the recipient of that phase has never fucked his mother. 

2. Cunt.  I have never called a woman by that name. It is also an extreme insult.

3. Asshole. I never use that word because an asshole is an important part of the human anatomy. It serves a useful purpose in our lives.

There are swear words that I do use. They are;

1.  Shit head. There are some people who are so stupid and who infuriate me because of their stupidity, I tell them that as far as I am concerned, they have shit for brains hence I refer to them as shit heads.

2.  Damned fool. Years ago when was practicing law, a witness was testifying against my client and his statements were so ridiculous I was force to object to what he had just said. I called the witness a dam fool for making those ridiculous statements. The judge yelled loudly, “I don’t permit profanity in this court Mister Batchelor.” As a recognized authority on the English language (having helped compile the Gage Canadian Dictionary in 1982, I decided to teach the judge a lesson on the English language. What I told him was as follows;  “A dam was a small coin shaped piece of metal used by either tool makers or wood workers in the Netherlands. It cost them mere pennies. Calling someone a dam fool is implying that like the dam, what they have to say is also of little value.  Hence, it is not a swear word."  

Using the word, damn is to imply that God had damned the fool. That doesn’t really make any sense at all since there is no way of knowing what God really does so it is pointless to use that particular word. 

In increasingly secular societies, blasphemous imprecations such as “goddamn” and “Jesus Christ” have lost their force and thus their no-no impact.

 I often hear people say, “Jesus Christ, that is stupid.” To use the name of Jesus Christ in vain is profane. I have no idea why people use his name like that. It is like they are addressing Jesus Christ and telling him that something is stupid. It makes no sense at all.

It is profane to tell people to fuck themselves (which is an impossibility) and for a man to tell someone else in anger to suck his cock is really insulting, which of course was the intent of the man who made that statement.  

It is not profane to tell someone to go to hell.

For those prudish readers of my blog who feel that I have offended them by including filthy words in this article, the only thing I can say to them is—“Go fuck yourself.”  To my other readers, I hope that you have found this article informative. 

Monday, 14 August 2017

Killer murdered three victims                                 

The knife that killed Hanne Meketech, Terry Blanchette and Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette cut in many ways, ultimately causing grave injury to an entire community. After the discovery of Hanne's horrific murder, , the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers began to descend upon the small mountain community of Coleman, Alberta, to try and solve the case. From the discovery of Hanne's body on September 9th, 2015 to that of Terry's on September 14th, 2015, the entire area of the Crowsnest Pass was on edge. And then there was the third horror and society’s worst fear—a missing child. The discovery of Terry's lifeless body and Hailey's disappearance initiated an Amber Alert. One hundred police officers were involved in the case. Hailey’s face, beautiful and innocent, was all over the news. To learn her gruesome fate had been devastating. The child had been strangled and cut into pieces. 

A jury had convicted Mr. Derek Saretzky of first degree murder in the killing of Hanne Meketech, the killing of Terry Blanchette, and the killing of Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette. The jury also convicted him of offering an indignity to Hailey’s remains.   

As part of the sentencing process, individuals impacted by these offences were entitled to submit statements about the effect these crimes have had upon them. The trial judge reviewed and considered those statements for sentencing purposes and highlighted some of the more salient features.

Mr. Saretzky gave a confession about the murders of Terry and Hailey to Melisa Eye, who was a correctional peace officer at the Calgary Remand Centre at the time.

Melisa Eye has found herself continually replaying the crime over and over, and tried to drive images of the scene out of her head by using the Internet to seek out pictures of Hailey smiling. She found it increasingly more difficult when having to repeat her discussion with Mr. Saretzky over and over, and sought counselling because of the stress this situation had caused her. Many of the victims also expressed sorrow and kindness towards the Saretzky family. 

Section 718 of the Criminal Code sets out the fundamental purpose of sentencing as the protection of society and respect for the law and the maintenance of a just, peaceful and safe society by imposing just sanctions that have one or more of the following objectives:      
(a) to denounce unlawful conduct and the harm done to victims or to the community that is caused by unlawful conduct; (b) to deter the offender and other persons from committing offences; (c) to separate offenders from society, where necessary; (d) to assist in rehabilitating offenders; (e) to provide reparations for harm done to victims or to the community; and (f) to promote a sense of responsibility in offenders, and acknowledgment of the harm done to victims or to the community. 

Relevant to the sentencing of  Mr. Saretzky were two additional Criminal Code provisions dealing specifically with cumulative punishments.     

Section 718.3(4)(b)(i) provides that where offences do not arise out of the same event or series of events, a sentencing judge shall consider imposing consecutive as opposed to concurrent terms of imprisonment.     

Since the deaths of Hanne Meketech, Terry Blanchette and Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette occurred at three distinct times and at three separate locations, the judge ruled them to be three separate and distinct events. However, in consideration of section 745.51 of the Criminal Code, little turned on this ruling in this particular case.

In 2011, the Criminal Code was amended and section 745.21 and 745.51 were added. Under section745.21, where a jury finds an accused guilty of murder and that accused has previously been convicted of murder, the judge presiding at the trial shall ask the jury for its recommendation concerning the period without eligibility for parole to be served and whether these periods should run consecutively. The section provides that where a jury chooses to make such recommendation, then this will be considered by the Court in sentencing. 

Under section 745.51(1): states that “at the time of the sentencing under section 745 of an offender who is convicted of murder and who has already been convicted of one or more other murders”, the Court may, “having regard to the character of the offender, the nature of the offence and the circumstances surrounding its commission, and the recommendation (by the jury) if any, made pursuant to section 745.21, by order, decide that the periods without eligibility for parole for each murder conviction are to be served consecutively”. 

 Pursuant to section 745.21, the jury that convicted Mr. Saretzky is entitled to make a recommendation about whether the periods of parole ineligibility for the murders of Hailey and Hanne should be consecutive or concurrent to the period of parole ineligibility for the murder of Terry. This is a significant decision. If all concurrent, then Mr. Saretzky would be eligible for parole after 25 years. If all consecutive, he will not be eligible for parole for 75 years. This period of parole ineligibility commences on the date of arrest. Therefore, after 75 years, Mr. Saretzky would be almost 100 years old, nearly guaranteeing he will spend the rest of his life in prison. 

The measures proposed in Bill C-48 will accomplish three things. First, they will better reflect the tragedy of multiple murders by enabling a judge to acknowledge each and every life lost.

Under previous law, multiple murderers serve life sentences and corresponding parole ineligibility periods for each murder concurrently. The result is that they serve only 25 years in custody before being eligible for parole, no matter how many lives they may have taken. 

Clifford Olsen killed ten young persons and was sentenced to life without eligibility for parole until he served a minimum of 25 years in prison. After he served 25 years, his parole application was denied. He eventually died in prison.

This symbolic devaluation of the lives of victims has a strong negative impact on the families and loved ones of murder victims. All too often they experience a greater degree of pain and experience a greater sense of loss because the justice system has failed to mete out a specific punishment for each and every life lost. Bill C-48 would help correct this.

 The second thing that Bill C-48 would do is reinforce the denunciatory and retributive functions of the parole ineligibility period attached to a sentence of life imprisonment. 

Murder is the most serious crime and must be denounced in the strongest terms. This has already been recognized by the highest court of the land. In the 1987 Vaillancourt case, the Supreme Court of Canada highlighted the extreme stigma attached to murder that flows from the moral blameworthiness of deliberately taking the life of another person. 

Bill C-48 would ensure that our communities are safe and that offenders convicted of multiple murders, who should never be released, will never be released. Alas, despite the penalties for murder, that crime is still committed in Canada.

In this vein, the proposed amendments would also protect the families and loved ones of multiple murder victims, who are forced to listen all over again to the details of these horrible crimes at parole hearings held after the maximum parole ineligibility period possible under the current Act expires. 

In the judge’s ruling he stated; “ For each conviction of first degree murder, Mr. Saretzky’s sentence is life imprisonment, with no chance of parole for 25 years. Given the jury’s verdict, they clearly accepted that all three murders were planned and deliberate. For Hailey's murder, they may have also found that her murder occurred in the course of her kidnapping and forcible confinement, which would also ground a conviction for first degree murder. I accept and agree with these findings. I also find that Hanne and Terry were killed by a combination of blunt and sharp force trauma, and that Hailey was killed by strangulation.” unquote


he judge also said, “The jury saw graphic photos, listened to heart-wrenching testimony, and overall, has been through an incredible ordeal. I watched them closely. And I commend each of them for their conduct in this case. They never disengaged. They paid close attention to the evidence, the arguments of counsel, and the instructions given to them. I believe they took their obligation seriously, and that they put their personal biases and emotions aside to carefully consider the issues.” unquote

He also said, “In addition to a finding of guilt on three counts of first degree murder, the jury also returned a unanimous decision that the parole ineligibility for the murders of Hailey and Hanne both be served consecutively to the period of parole ineligibility for the murder of Terry. In other words, the jury unanimously recommended that Mr. Saretzky have no chance of parole for 75 years. This recommendation did not have to be unanimous but all 12 jurors came to this conclusion. This recommendation is not binding upon me, but it was a factor I was obligated to take into account in my decision.” unquote 

He then said, “I agree with the jury’s recommendation that Mr. Saretzky should be imprisoned for 75 years without chance of parole. I agree with the jury’s recommendation that the periods of parole ineligibility for the murders of Hailey and Hanne should be served consecutively to the period of parole ineligibility for Terry’s murder.” unquote

What was greatly, disturbing, is that after . Saretzky killed Hanne, he had time to consider his future actions. These murders were not conducted simultaneously. Mr. Saretzky had days, and days, to think about what he had done, and to abandon his continued plans of murder. Instead, he did not. Instead, he used what he learned from conducting each murder to successfully engage in other vicious acts of murder for all his victims which was much more aggravating for Hailey.

In a case such as this, where an individual is being given a sentence which spans a lifetime, the proportionality of the sentence must be heavily weighed.

Pursuant to section 724(2)(b) of the Criminal Code, the Court shall accept all facts essential to the jury’s guilty verdict as proven, and that further, it is open to the Court to find any other relevant fact proven by evidence.

In this case the Crown (prosecutor) argued that there were facts relevant to the degree of planning and deliberation on the part of Mr. Saretzky. These facts amount to aggravating factors for sentencing purposes such that they demonstrate the extent, as the Crown says, of Mr. Saretzky’s lack of remorse, his diabolical nature, his tendency towards violence, his disregard for human life or its value, and in effect the risk his freedom presents to Canadians and others.

A notebook belonging to Mr. Saretzky, was entered into evidence, in which each victim’s name was written and then crossed out. This by itself means that he was methodical in his murders.

Similarities between the deaths of Hanne Meketech and Terry Blanchette, included breaking into each of their homes at night, masked and with gloves on, the victims’ state of vulnerability at the times they were attacked in their own bedrooms, and the tools and weapons used to cause their deaths.  

The fact of Mr. Saretzky’s attendance at the Grassy Mountain Road campsite on September 9, 2015, was just five days before he attended this place to murder Hailey. On this September 9th  visit he, as anyone else, would have noted the privacy of the place, the fire pit and abundance of available firewood, which ultimately aided him in committing his crime undetected, to destroy evidence, and to desecrate the remains of Hailey. 

The fact that five full days passed between the murder of Hanne and that of Terry and Hailey. For these five days Mr. Saretzky would have been surrounded by the grief and terror of his entire community, and in particular the horror of his own grandparents who were friends of Hanne. The reality of the hurt and fear he had caused did not stop him from going further in his murders.

The fact that Hailey was only  a 2 year old who was stolen from sleep in her crib, kidnapped from her home, her father murdered, and held hostage before being savagely murdered, and her remains violated and destroyed.

Finally, the fact that the gravity of  Saretzky’s actions increased with each of the murders he committed before he was caught. First, cutting the throat of a woman alone and vulnerable in her room at night; then bludgeoning and stabbing a man asleep in his own bed and attempting to drain and drink his blood; and finally, removing a child from her home and holding her hostage before strangling her in a remote location, and then cannibalizing her remains before burning them. As he carried out these three murders Mr. Saretzky gained momentum. This is obvious evidence that this killer was horrible human monster.

In these extreme circumstances there is overwhelming evidence that Saretzky is a deadly harm to his community. Hopes of rehabilitating Saretzky can simply not carry the day where the objectives of denunciation; deterrence; the need to separate the offender from society; and the need for reparation for and acknowledgement of harm done to victims and community are all so acutely engaged.

It is unfortunate indeed that this monster couldn’t be put to death. It would save the taxpayers in Canada millions of dollars keeping this monster caged for at least 75 years.

There was a killer in the United States who killed a couple and later a fellow inmate in prison. He was sentenced to a thousand years for each of the three murders. He appealed and the appeal court agreed with him that a sentence of 3000 years was outrageous. He won his appeal. The appeal court reduced his sentence to 1,500 years.