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You know, I’m not generally an angry person…

April 5, 2010

… but OH MY GOD.

First, some perspective. This has nothing to do with you or me.  It’s about that disgusting beast, Graham James, and all the kids (we will never know how many) whose childhoods, and as a consequence adulthoods, he has stolen over the years. This is about the National Parole Board and this INEXPLICABLE decision to pardon him. It’s about Sheldon Kennedy, Theo Fleury, and all those players who didn’t end up making it into our collective awareness whose lives were destroyed by this man. It’s about “justice undone” as Ron Jette of the Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Network put it.

Now, some more perspective. This has everything to do with you and me. Some of you guys already have kids, and some of you may, like me, run away screaming at the thought of shouldering such a responsibility, but are resigned to the fact that it’s something you may want… someday. A day that’s a long, long, looooooooooooong way away.

Sooner or later, the day’s going to come when you wake up at the asscrack of dawn, load up all your kid’s hockey equipment into the back of your SUV and drive him or her to rink for hockey practice. Or maybe you’ll be dropping your kids off at soccer or baseball or ballet or music lessons or cub scouts after school, on Saturdays, whatever.

Now just think, for one nanosecond, that the coach, teacher or guide you leave your kids with is a guy like Graham James.

Makes you want to commit all kinds of murder, doesn’t it?

I’ve never believed in Capital Punishment. But I do firmly, firmly believe in this: if you ever, ever, ever abuse a kid, sexually or otherwise, you should be locked away from society forever. FOREVER. No chance of parole, you should live out the rest of your life in confinement and never again be able to dole out the psychological torture you inflicted on that innocent child to anyone else.

A guy like Graham James should never have been pardoned. In fact, the option should never have been open to him, or to anyone that has abused a child. I recently found out that it’s possible for a convicted rapist in the United States to come live in Canada and stop having to register as a sex offender everywhere he (or she) goes. It’s not as simple as just moving here – there are some hoops to jump through and bureaucratic bells and whistles and not every convicted sex offender can do it, but it’s possible.

It has to stop. Stephen Harper and I have never really been BFFs, but I’m glad he has decided to investigate what happened here, and I hope something comes out of that or Theo Fleury’s formal complaint against James. I think it’s time we revisit the way we deal with convicted child abusers. Don’t ask me how I know this but they do not change. They do not become rehabilitated. So the only thing that can be done is to change the way we deal with them. They should not be allowed near our kids, ever. Period.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2010 1:50 pm

    I don’t understand how people charged with possession/looking at child pornographic material get on a national registry, yet he does far worse*, gets pardoned and THEY DON’T KNOW WHERE HE IS?????


    Our judicial system is going to be compared to the Catholic Church coverup.

    *both possession of child porn and molestation are heinous crimes… I mean worse as in there’s physical contact

    • theactivestick permalink*
      April 5, 2010 2:09 pm

      Holy shit I forgot about how they don’t know where he is. I want to cry and throw up at the same time.

  2. April 5, 2010 1:51 pm

    P.S. Thanks for writing about this. Needed to be said.

  3. Smilinggainey permalink
    April 5, 2010 2:49 pm

    Agree 100%. Even Chemical castration has not been proven to be a deterrent, so life in prison with no parole is the only logical solution.

    I can’t even fathom why Canada would allow this to happen…

  4. Harry M permalink
    April 6, 2010 4:28 pm

    Great piece Active Stick.

  5. Brock permalink
    April 6, 2010 7:46 pm

    Youre going to want to kill me on this one, but here goes…

    The premise of our correctional system is rehabilitation and reintegration, all while maintaining public safety. A pardon is simply part of the reintegration process.

    There is a mechanism in place to maintain the public’s safety against sex offenders and that is the offender’s registry.

    I see no wrong in the fact that he was pardoned. He served the sentence imposed upon him by the courts, met all conditions set forth and has returned to society (with conditions, of course).

    The knee jerk reaction from the CPC on this one is laughable. If reforms are made in the whole rehabilitation process, then they better be prepared to cover the costs associated with it. By maintaining the constraints of a criminal record on the ex convicts, they are likely to fall into a rut (a no way out type of situation) and quite possibly return to the life that led them behind bars in the first place.

    By the by, I am in no way downplaying his crime; sexual abuse in any form is despicable. I think in the context of this story, the term Pardon is grossly misunderstood. He’s still not allowed near children or in positions that would enable him to be in any type of position of trust.

    (please don’t hate me)

    • theactivestick permalink*
      April 6, 2010 8:04 pm

      Thank you for your opinion, which you are entitled to, and I would never hate you for expressing it. Just three things:

      1. I’m not arguing against the Pardon system. I’m just saying it should not be available to people who abuse children.

      2. The offender’s registry in Canada is horribly, horribly broken.

      3. THEY DON’T KNOW WHERE HE IS. How can they be sure that he is not near children or in a position of trust?

      • Brock permalink
        April 6, 2010 8:15 pm

        Thank you. I can sleep better tonight.

        1&2- The fact that registry exists, never truly “pardons” the sex offender. That said, I do agree with you that it could be managed much much better.

        3-I thought you could figure out where folks are (to an extent) due to the use of their passports. Meh, regardless, those scumbags should report their movements monthly. Their crime should circumvent any rights they have under the charter.

  6. April 6, 2010 11:26 pm

    Creepy scary thing is, this happened 3 years ago and no one knew about it.

    Creepier scarier thing is he was soon coaching kids in Italy and they KNEW WHO HE WAS.

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