Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Murderer pleads "Don't send me back to Jamaica!"
In 2001 McLeod was convicted of second-degree murder, and sentenced to life, with no possibility of parole for 12 years. He became eligible for day parole and is now eligible for full parole.
But does he want it? No! Mr. McLeod wants to stay in jail -- a nice Canadian jail if you please. Why? Because, not being a Canadian citizen but a Jamaican, at the time of his sentencing he was ordered to be deported from Canada immidately on being released from prison.
Now the convicted murderer has filed a lawsuit in the Federal Court of Canada, another of those "Charter rights" cases so beloved of victims of every imaginable form of discrimination. And their taxpayer-remunerated lawyers, of course.
Mr. McLeod's claim is that Canada's laws discriminate against foreign nationals by robbing them of a chance for conditional release after they've paid their debt to society. It all depends, he says, on what it means to "complete" a prison sentence.
Under the Immigration and Refugee Act, a foreign national who engages in serious criminality is subject to removal once a prison sentence "is completed", which means "as soon as any form of conditional release is granted."
However, under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, a sentence for a non-citizen is not considered complete until the expiration of every day of the sentence, even if they're on parole before that very last day.
In dismissing McLeod's action, Mr. Justice Donald Rennie of the Federal Court said, "Parliament has the right to prescribe the conditions under which foreign nationals who are convicted in Canada will be removed from Canada.... As the applicant has no right to remain in Canada, he has no right to access Canadian society under terms and conditions that are available to Canadian citizens; hence no Charter issue arises.
"[Deportation] does not deprive him of anything he has not, by his own conduct, already lost," the judge added. While citizens and non-citizens may be treated differently, he opined, it does not equate to discrimination. "Since the applicant has no right to remain in Canada there can be no differential treatment. A Canadian citizen has a right to remain in Canada. Therefore, a foreign national and a [Canadian] national are not [the same.]"
All that may come as a shock to the lawyers, counsellors and other do-gooders who do well out of helping to bogus refugees, asylum-seekers and criminals remain in Canada. They may take some comfort, though, in learning that Mr. McLeod plans to appeal.