Articles, Letters April 10, 2010

Tough on crime just for the poor

by Kai Chan

Letter to the Toronto Star (Sunday, April 10, 2010)

Tough on crime just for the poor

Re:  Former MP Rahim Jaffer connected to conman, April 8

I was intrigued to read that the Crown in Rahim Jaffer’s court case very generously offered the former MP a favourable plea bargain.  When I was 17 years old growing up in poverty and arrested as a young offender, the Crown sought six month’s closed custody (i.e. jail time) for a school fight I got into.

I had to aggressively fight against the Crown and won a favourable ruling (probation with no incarceration) from the judge who presided over my case.  Eighteen years later I am an alumnus of University of Toronto and Princeton University.  I wonder what path my life would have taken had I spent six months in jail.  Seems to me that the tough on crime model only applies to people from lesser backgrounds.

Kai Chan, New York–tough-on-crime-just-for-the-poor

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