Wednesday, July 20, 2005

What's the "end" to the "ends justify means" strategy of RCMP?

Public safety, deterrence, restitution, and rehabilitation. I think those were the four purposes of the Canadian criminal justice system that we talked about in high school law class.

The RCMP "Mr. Big" strategy, has been running since 1997 and is beginning to gain the attention of the public.

Ian Mulgrew, yesterday published an article in the Vancouver Sun arguing that the strategy is "anathema to our judicial history." Despite what he thinks, the RCMP and the Supreme Court seem to think that saying "fuck" a whole bunch of times and playing bad in the presence of a suspect is to be endorsed.

I'd like to be really open to the idea of this strategy and would like to further study it. My preliminary thoughts, written in response to Mulgrew's article was published today in the Sun, cannot see how this helps anything but public safety.

RE: So-called 'Mr. Big' confessions bad situation

Dostoevsky's novel Crime and Punishment makes a great critique of the RCMP's 'Mr. Big' confessions. The novel would inquire into the principles behind the pragmatics. The RCMP may consider it an "ends to justify the means" strategy, but what exactly is the end? Crime is a social construction. The novel illustrates this by showing how anyone can be convicted of murder through enticements similar to that used by the RCMP. The novel also shows how far removed accruing a confession from the real murderer can be from the purposes of deterrence, restitution and rehabilitation. For progress to be made here, I infer from the novel, the consciousness of the suspect ought to be affirmed and personal development to self-realization of guilt encouraged. Perhaps immediate public safety and job satisfaction are served by 'Mr. Big' confessions, but is that all we want?

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