Devil's Playground - Personal History.

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The Globe and Mail Toronto/The Hog Town/the Hell Hole Monday November 17, 1997

I personally contacted Dalton McGuinty and local MPP Laurel Broten with the below
story asking them to address the problems.
Dalton McGuinty's office refered me to his political platform document - which did not
see any problms in status quo.
Laurel Broten - when knocking at the doors before the elections said "Good luck in trying to change anything".
Over the years she ignored my requests to meet and discuss the constituency issues.
Never replied to my e-mails.

From my personal experiences - it is even worse than in the below story.

Front Page Story.

by Kirk Markin, Court Reporter

The Ontario court system is an assembly line staffed by disilusined judges,
harried prosecutirs and often-inept dfence lawyers, a weekend legel conference

"Everything is reduced to getting the numbers through". said judge David Cole,
a panelist at the Law Union of Ontario conference of about 150 judges
and lawyers. What most of us are doing is a lot of routine processing of
petty offenders - most of whom are mentally ill.
"We are getting tired of watching the parade", added Judge Cole,
of the Ontario Court's Provincial Division. "I am getting very depressed about it.
It is very expensive, and I am not sure it ultimately gives anybody a sense that
justice has been done."
Judge Peter Harris, also of the Provincial Division, said the public sees an
illusion of justice.
"What we are doing is obviously not working" Judge Harris said.
"We know stiff jail sentences don't produce a reduction in crime. Probation
doesn't produce a reduction in crime. The rates of violence stay the same
whatever we do".
Judges and lawyers cited problems ranging from overworked and unprepared
lawyers to the vast number of unrepresented litigants who are overwhelming
the court system.
Provincial Division Judge Lynn King bemoaned the fact that recent cutbacks
in legal aid mean 65 per cent of family law litigants appear in court without
As a result , Judge King said, she regularly witnesses the "mind-boggling"
and tragic sight fo unrepresented mothers agreeing to the demands of
social-welfare authorities without understanding the serious ramifications.
She said it is no better in Youth Court, where a staggering number of
teen-agers unthinkingly agree to unrealistic or inappropriate bail conditions.
They inevitable end up breaching them, she said, and are incarcerated until
their trila date.
"Half of them can't even read", Judge King said. "They don't even remember
what day today is. They are teen-agers. They will sign anything. If they
had a lawyer, they wouldn't agree to these silly conditions.
"Tis is the state of family law - and we are supposed to resolve cases in a fair
and equitable manner. You feel like you are a stage director telling people
where to stand. You leave at the end of the day wandering what is going on".
With the court system failing at every turn. Judge Harris said, the only
viable alternative is to use social programs in the community to try to
change aberrant behaviour.
Judge Cole agreed, adding that if 15 to 20 per cent of the least consequential
criminal charges were diverted out of the court system, the rest of the cases
could be treated properly.
"If there is one thing we all agree on, it is that our court system is being used
inappropriately as dumping ground for social problems", he said.
He said the court system itself is increasingly plagued by defence counsel
who are poorly paid and disorganized and Crown prosecutors have to "give away
the store" in plea bargains to get through their case lists.
Many defence lawyers make no use of the requirement that the Crown disclose
evidence prior to trial, Judge Cole said. Others have no no idea how to conduct
a cross-examination.
"It is very clear we have lawyers who not only don't own a copy of the
Criminal Code, but haven't read it", Judge Cole said.
He said he must frequently restrain himself from going over the head of a defense
lawyer to ask whether an accused person really understands what is taking place.
Judge COle recalled how he and a colleague once assembled a group of defence
lawyers to go through some of the fundamentals they ought to have learned in
law school.
Other conference participants said the deplorable state of affairs goes far
beyond bad lawyering. They said the throttling of the provincial legal-aid plan
has made it impossible to spend adequate time on most cases unless a lawyer
is willing to work for free.
"SOle practitioners are working without secretaries and working from their
homes instead of offices" said lawyer David Bayliss. "They do their own
photocopying and are unable to do research".
Mr. Bayliss said the bail system has become "a national disgrace" because
so many accused people now appear without counsel. He said they are herded
into prisoner's dock in droves. If they have anyone representing them at all, it
is likely to be an exhausted court duty counsel , lawyers stationed in
the court room who represent clients on an as-neede basis.
Inevitably, a great many are denied bail by the presiding justice of the peace,
Mr. Bayliss said. After several weeks or months in jail, he said , they will
say just about anything to settle the charges and be released.
Mr. Bayliss said there is a bitter joke doing the rounds that legal aid now ends
up paying lawyers $900 for the proceedings to set a trial date and $100 for the trial.

"I don't know why judges haven't spoken out about it", he said. "I don't know why
lawyers haven't spoken out about it.
It is a scandal. It is inhuman"
Judge King said many family-law litigants who represent themselves in court can
barely string a sentence together, let alone file the proper court documents.
She said duty counsel call out numbers from a list as if they were serving
customers in a butcher's store, hastily nailing down resolutions to complex
domestic matters that are sometimes ill-advised.
"They just seem overwhelmed by what they are doing" Judge King said of the duty
Lawyer Robert Kellermann said that in many courthouses accused people are herded
into noisy cells where they are obliged to use the toilet in full view of dozens
of other inmates.
"These are the people who are still presumed innocent".
He said it may take nothing less than a work-to-rule campaign to bring attention
to the crisis.
"If there is a slowdown, I think the government would eventually be forced to
provide resources" he said.

End of Front Page Story.

But there is more:

"When Police Kill" Gabriella Pedicelli
"Criminal Injustice. Racism in the Criminal Justice System" R. Neugebauer
"Outrage. Canada's Justice System on Trial" Alex Macdonald
"Report fo the Commission on Systemic Racism in the Ontario Criminal Justice
System" December 1995
"Report of the Criminal Justice Review Committee" Ministry of the Attorney General

"Equity and Inclusive Education Policy".

This is Promised Land Canada - what would they be without the totally undeserved
natural resources wealth and the proximity to the United States - at best a Paraguay -
with all due respect to Paraguayans.
But they are proud, proud like in "Pride Parade".

Frankly - proud of what? Disfunction, abnormality?

Devil's Playground and Devil's Brood ruling it - nothing less nothing more.

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