Thursday, May 04, 2006

From the Law and Order Files.

I was glad to hear yesterday's verdict in the Zacarias Moussaoui case that he will serve life in prison instead of being executed. This is the right verdict, as the last thing we need is another Islamist "martyr." I suspect a lot of his behaviour in the last stages of the trial was intended to get himself executed. He will be serving his life sentence in the "supermax" ADX complex in Florence, Colorado. I suspect this has as much to do with his potential life expectancy in a "normal" prison as anything else.

Mexican president Vicente Fox has apparently done a 180 on legislation intended to legalise the possession of small amounts of various drugs. The Mexican government is denying its the result of American pressure, but that's going to be hard for many to believe given the near apocolyptic rhetoric coming out of certain quarters in the US. Ironically the bill would have toughened efforts against drug pushers, who are a major problem in Mexico. I personally lean towards considering the legalisation of some drugs such as marijuana and heroin, but am more leery about considering doing so with things like cocaine and PCP. The Mexican law would have allowed possession of small amounts of pretty much every major illegal drug.

A court case in Saskatoon saw some peculiar behaviour yesterday. Karen Ponto was dragged from provincial court after being charged with contempt. Ponto, in court on a charge of child abduction after she took her 11 and 13 year old children from Saskatoon in violation of a custody order, refused to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the court. Ponto claims to be a minister of Church of the Ecumenical Redemption International, a fringe Christian group that does not recognise the legitimacy of the current Canadian government and wants to use the King James Version of the Bible as the rule of law. Ponto claimed the proceedings violated her freedom of religion. I guess Ponto and her fellows have never heard of rendering unto Caesar. This group reminds me of similar groups that have operated in the United States in the past, who tried to use a religious justification to avoid paying taxes and obeying any law they didn't like. This "detaxing document" I came across via Google would seem to indicate that is the case here as well. Unfortunately clear information on this so-called church is rather lacking online at the moment.

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