1.23.2011

citizen's arrest: dick cheney, officer bubbles, you're coming with me

So the Harper government thinks we need a a vigilante law. Since tough-on-crime legislation, no matter how silly and unnecessary, is always popular, let's assume this will pass handily. How can we make this law work for the greater good? Will it be easier to arrest Tony Hayward? Dick Cheney? Tony Blair? All the taser-happy cops?

The fact that the NDP and the Liberals have put forth similar private member's bill only proves that pandering is nonpartisan.

Food for thought: a different kind of citizen intervention. Imagine if governments took this approach to crime.

5 comments:

John F said...

I hate to say it, but I approve of the citizen's arrest legislation. Some years ago, we had a case in my town where a hiker came upon a teen trying to light the woods on fire. When asked what he was doing, the teen replied that he was trying to stay warm (it was about 30 degrees out). These woods were in a large (1000 acre) park in the northern part of town. The fire would almost certainly have spread to surrounding streets.The hiker physically restrained the young man for close to half an hour before the police arrived.

The police announced they were contemplating an unlawful confinement charge against the hiker. They only relented after a public outcry, and after the fire department gave the man a commendation.

My point is, the hiker was not a vigilante. He was never accused of assaulting the teen, and he probably saved a lot of homes.

I think most of Harper's "tough on crime" agenda is bullshit. It flies in the face of evidence from Stats Can that show crime rates are dropping. I also realize that this particular law is an attempt to capitalize on the case of the shopkeeper in Toronto. But the law itself is a good one.

Oh, and by the way: Julio Diaz is a kind, brave man. Good for him.

laura k said...

Thanks, John F. A number of progressive people agree with you - Dr Dawg, for one.

I don't think it's an awful law. But it seems like fairly useless legislation, affecting very few people. I.e. pandering.

Yeah, that story is something. Not only kind, but as you say, gutsy. Inspiring to me.

Mike said...

Hmm... I'm not sure of this law but then I've got an automatic bias against lawmaking by pandering and laws with justification that only applies to a single or very few cases, they are hardly ever good laws. That's probably since such laws are usually written in a hurry and have mile wide flaws in them.

Mike said...

and besides, it's a Harperite law which automatically makes it suspect, not that I'm biased or anything. ;-)

John F said...

Believe me, Mike, I'm feeling some cognitive dissonance over my support of the bill. If Harper's fer it, I'm usually agin it.