gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Sometimes the Youth Criminal Justice Act shouldn’t apply

August 14, 2009 @ 12:00 By: gordon Category: General, In the news

The Youth Criminal Justice Act prohibits the names of young offenders and victims from being identified. Sometimes this means that adults involved in the crime and/or related to the youth can’t be identified. Occasionally, a young offender is charged as an adult, such as the recent case of one of the killers of Stefanie Rengel. Melissa Todorovic was only identified as M.T. until she was finally sentenced as an adult, at which point it entered the public record.

In the case of young victims, I can understand why their names are suppressed and I don’t have a problem with this. There are even some crimes that I can accept the name of a young offender not being published — petty crimes rather than violent crimes, for example. Kids do stupid things when they’re growing up, but this doesn’t mean their name should be splashed across the news à la “Timmy Smith convicted of stealing a chocolate bar, full story at 11!”

But when it comes to crimes involving motor vehicles, such as the seventeen-year old street racer in Orleans who smashed his car, shattered a bus shelter, broke a wall and landed on someone’s front lawn, I don’t think the anonymity afforded by the Youth Criminal Justice Act should apply. If you are old enough to possess a license to drive a motor vehicle, you are old enough to have your name published if you do something stupid or illegal while driving. Driving is a privilege, not a right, and with it comes responsibility.

2 Responses to “Sometimes the Youth Criminal Justice Act shouldn’t apply”

  1. Hey Gordon,

    I couldn’t agree more. Don’t get me started…

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