Originally Posted by Skruface
With utmost respect to Lawdog, I rarely refer to what we have in Canada as a "justice system", even in my classroom. When my students ask why, I explain that we have a set of laws that has to be enforced, so a better term is "legal system", since so many of the public feel that there is little or no actual "justice" in our "justice system" - in many cases, the victim ends up worse off than the criminal. Only in Canada can an off-duty police officer get pissed up, kill the mother of one of my students via DUI, and then get to serve his sentence (2 years less a day) in the community....sorry, that's not justice, that's a f*cking disgrace.
Personally, I'd like to see that the YCJA scrapped and replaced with something with teeth. Around my neighborhood, people could care less about "rehabilitating misguided youth" and more about "keep the friggen criminals out of my house, from stealing my car, and from mugging me at 7-11".
I work with kids all day, every day, and I work in a program specializing in "troubled youth". You can't convince me that a child of 14 or 15 isn't capable of Mens Rea (the ability to have criminal intent). I've worked with a few severely handicapped kids that might not, but any "reasonably normal" 14 year old who attends public school knows that stealing is wrong, murder is wrong, rape is wrong, etc. The parents can be lazy as hell, but we still teach them what's right and wrong in school under the banner of "Social responsibility".....
I'd like to see the minimum age kids can be charged set at age 12 - that's Grade 7 and the start of Junior High School. Kids that young are still immature enough to make bad choices and should be allowed to make a mistake and not have it ruin their life. However, I think the minimum age you should be tried (and sentenced) as an adult at 14. By then, you know what's right and what's wrong, and you make decisions for yourself. If a 15 year old shoots a firearm through the front window of a house and kills a pregnant woman (as happened in Winnipeg last week), he should go away for 20 years.
I'm not even gonna get into the other bleeding-heart flaws in our so-called "justice" system (double credit for time served before trial/sentencing, early release for good behaviour, yadda yadda). I'm just glad to hear these asshat got caught, even if there's not going to be any justice.....