Described by police as "outstanding members of the community," the parents were stabbed to death by a man described as "well known" to police and out on bail.
When police arrived at the plaza around 4:20 p.m., the alleged attacker, a Brampton resident who has a history of committing violent crime, police said, had already turned his knives on himself.
Here you have an offender - who is well known to police, a history of violent crimes, and still some Justice of the Peace or possibly a criminal court justice used their ‘superior’ reasoning skills to grant the accused bail. What most people in this province do not realize is that a Justice of the Peace is purely a political appointment. It is most often used as a reward for service. There are no particular pre-requisites to be a JP other than being of ‘good character, no criminal record and a Canadian citizen’. Yes, one can be an office cleaner, an exotic dancer or a used car salesperson and still reasonably aspire to being a JP. The key word to that future is ‘patronage’.
One of the most common things duties for a JP to do is to sit on the bench and preside over bail hearings in order to determine which accused receive bail and with what conditions. I have not worked as a criminal law clerk in the last seven years but my experience suggests the odds are overwhelming that this accused was released on bail granted by a Justice of the Peace.
Generally, a criminal court justice’s time is saved for a bail review hearing. An accused can always elect to have his initial bail hearing presided over by a bona fide justice but the trade off is a few weeks waiting in jail for a justice’s docket to be free to hear the matter; so it is quite common to have most accused elect to have their matter heard by JP. Of course, an accused has the right after a JP has denied him bail to have the matter reviewed before a justice to ensure the JP did rule according to law.
Take a day off and go sit as a spectator in a regular bail court and count how many accused are brought up on new charges while out on bail awaiting trial for older matters. Count how many JP’s grant multiple bails – I bet the number will surprise you. It really is time to overhaul our courts.