Friday, December 01, 2006

From the Law and Order Files III

The big legal news in Saskatchewan this week is of course the parole of Colin Thatcher. The former Progressive Conservative MLA and cabinet minister was jailed for the 1984 murder of his ex-wife JoAnn Wilson. He has been trying for parole for several years, and was finally granted full parole Thursday, despite continuing to claim he did not murder Wilson. This had been seen as an impediment to Thatcher getting parole, as it usually is in such considerations. The idea is that the convict must admit his guilt as an indication he has been making efforts at rehabilitation. However the issue did not come up at the latest hearing.

Personally I wouldn't be at all surprised if Thatcher is telling the truth as far as not murdering Wilson himself. After all if he hired someone to do it he wouldn't have actually had to pull the trigger. It's not hard to think of reasons why he wouldn't admit to having Wilson murdered if that's the case.

Should Thatcher be out of prison? I have no real opinion. Although he is all but certainly no danger to reoffend he still hasn't admitted his crime.

The ongoing effort against Montreal's so-called Sixth Family organised crime group has gained a Saskatchewan connection. Rocco Caruso, 34, was wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for conspiracy to traffic in cannabis. He was arrested Wednesday by the Spiritwood detachment of the RCMP. He was reportedly hunting in the area when he was arrested without incident. His arrest comes as part of Project Colise, a multi-agency operation aimed at Montreal's Mafia community and its associates. Since November 22nd 90 people have been arrested, including Nick Rizzuto, father of reputed Canadian Godfather Vito Rizzuto.

An obvious question that comes to mind is if the Mafia or similar European originated organised crime groups have any sort of permanent presense in Saskatchewan. The Hell's Angels certainly do, so it wouldn't be surprising if the Mafia does.

Karen MacDonald, aka Karen Ponto, was back in court again Thursday. As previously mentioned on this blog Ponto was charged earlier this year with violating a child custody order. Ponto claims membership in the Church of the Ecumenical Redemption International, and refuses to recognise the jurisdiction of the provincial court, as she did back in May. As a result Judge Robert Gordon entered not guilty pleas on her behalf after noting that Ponto's statements amounted to "babble," and that she didn't have a clue what she was talking about. Ponto also demanded to know why she wasn't provided organic shampoo in jail.

It's hard to say whether Ponto is doing this as a dodge, actually believes the stuff she's spouting, or both. Whatever the case it isn't likely to do her any good. Courts not surprisingly do not accept defenses based on oddball readings of the law.

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