Former Grand Falls Windsor town councillor Barry Oake will not be going to jail. Oake was convicted of sexually assaulting teenaged boys and through a plea bargain had agreed on house arrest. First of all when did we start allowing convicted criminals to choose their own sentence? Secondly how can anyone say that house arrest is a sentence? But in a surprise decision, the provincial judge, Bruce Short, ignored the original deal and imposed a tougher sentence; 22 month prison sentence plus three years probation. We need more judges in Newfoundland & Labrador like him.
Of course Oake appealed the judge's decision and the Court of Appeal overturned the the decision and sentenced Barry Oake to just 14 months of house arrest. For the next 14 months, you probably won't get the smile off of his face. He had beaten the system. That's the way the judicial system is going in Newfoundland & Labrador and it doesn't surprise me.
Judges are giving lower sentences all the time for violent crimes, while the victim suffers, sometimes their entire life. Precedents are being set all the time. Every time a judge gives a lower sentence, the criminal coming behind them is saying, "Yeah, wait a minute! That guy got 2 years for the same crime, why can't I have that?" Many times they get what they want, the judge will knock a few months off and another precedent is set for the next criminal in line. At the rate that is happening in Newfoundland & Labrador, the future will see the criminals get no sentence for the crimes they do, just because the one ahead of them got away with it. It is time for reform.
It is time for the judicial system in Newfoundland & Labrador to be reformed. We need to erase all precedents and start giving higher sentences for the crimes criminals do. The justice department of the government, of course, would never do that. Maybe we as a people of Newfoundland & Labrador need to reform the government.