Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Facebook revenge plot nets prison sentence. Completely inappropriate.

A Winnipeg man is heading to jail for posting nude photos of his 16-year-old former girlfriend on Facebook.
The 18-year-old – who can’t be named to protect the identity of the victim – pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography and criminal harassment. He was sentenced on Friday to six months behind bars as part of a joint-recommendation from Crown and defence lawyers.
Crown attorney Terry McComb told court the girl took the pictures of herself and emailed them to the accused when she was just 15. The pair had been in a relationship for nearly two years but broke up last spring.

The accused was apparently upset after learning she was in a new relationship with a man he didn’t like and decided to seek revenge by creating a Facebook account under a bogus name, then posting the pictures online and sending links to friends of the girl and her new boyfriend, court was told.
The photos included topless shots of the teen and others which showed her naked torso, but not her face. In Canada, nude photos of a sexual nature depicting anyone under the age of 18 are considered child pornography.
The accused was arrested in April and spent four nights in custody before getting bail. He then sent his ex-girlfriend an email apology. "I’m sorry for showing you to his friends. I got charged with child pornography and that’s killer," he wrote.
The man was quickly re-arrested by police and charged with violating his bail by having contact with the victim. He has been in custody at Headingley Jail ever since.
Provincial court Judge Kelly Moar called the man’s actions "totally reprehensible" and noted the explicit pictures of the girl will remain online forever.
"What you chose to do is unfortunately something that cannot be undone," Moar said. "There's no delete button on the Internet. Those things float forever on the Internet."
Defence lawyer Michelle Bright said her client was motivated by revenge, not sexual deviance. A pre-sentenced report shows he is a low-risk to re-offend and has expressed remorse for his actions.
Moar sentenced the man to three and-a-half more months in jail, in addition to two and-a-half months of time already served. He also placed the accused on two years of supervised probation which includes an order to stay away from the victim. He is also banned from having any Internet access unless it’s related to his work or schooling and must attend domestic counselling.

A young Winnipeg man's plot to seek revenge on his ex-girlfriend by posting explicit photos of the teen on Facebook has netted him a six-month jail term for distributing child pornography.
The 18-year-old was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty in July to the child-pornography charge and another allegation of criminal harassment.
'I'm sorry for showing you to his friends … I got charged with child pornography and that's killer.'— 18-year-old who tried to get revenge on former girlfriend
A court-ordered ban prevents his name from being published because it could identify the 16-year-old victim.
The two teens had been in a romantic relationship for about two years but broke up in March, court heard.
The man was arrested in April after friends of the victim's new boyfriend were sent an online link taking them to a Facebook profile page in the girl's name. Explicit photos of her were posted there, Crown prosecutor Terry McComb said.
The 18-year-old spent four nights in jail but was released on bail conditions that included a ban against contacting the younger teen for any reason.
However, a few days after his release, he created a new Hotmail email account and sent the victim a message, McComb said.
"Please just read and don't tell the cops," the message said. "I'm sorry for showing you to his friends … I got charged with child pornography and that's killer."
McComb told provincial court Judge Kelly Moar that the apology was not allowed under the bail terms.
After reading the email, the girl phoned police, who quickly rearrested the young man and charged him with harassment. He's been held at the Headingley Correctional Centre ever since.
Defence lawyer Michelle Bright said a need for revenge motivated the 18-year-old after his ex-girlfriend started a relationship, not long after the breakup, with someone he didn't like.
The teen is remorseful for what he did and told a probation officer, "I don't like [jail], but I deserve it," Bright said.
Moar called the man's actions "totally reprehensible" and said it's possible he made the girl a lifelong victim of sexual exploitation because of the permanence of online content.
"What you chose to do … is unfortunately something that cannot be undone," Moar said. "There's no delete button on the internet. Those things float forever on the internet."
Moar sentenced the man to three and a half more months in jail after crediting him for the more than two months he's already spent locked up.
Moar also ordered him to two years on supervised probation, which forbids him from having any access to the internet or using a computer unless it's at work or school.
A court-ordered pre-sentencing report recommended the teen be released immediately into a community-based domestic-violence treatment program. McComb and the man's lawyer, Michelle Bright, told Moar the case was more akin to one involving domestic violence and not sexual deviance.
At the request of the lawyers, Moar declined to have the man's name placed on a federal database of sex-offenders, calling such a move "grossly disproportionate" given the circumstances of the case.

So what purpose does prison serve in this case? Absolutely none. We should not imprison non violent and non dangerous offenders, such as this teen. Prison for this teen is harsh, inappropriate and excessive. He is not a child molester or sex offender! The public does not need to be protected from this man. Jail will cause more harm than good. He should have received community service and counseling. He expressed remorse for his stupidity and is being punished for apologizing. He cannot have internet access unless it's related to work or schooling. Imprisoning this teen and giving him a criminal record, creates barriers for employment in his future. He made a mistake. He didn't intend to "distribute." Youth brains are under-developed and they do not consider the consequences of their actions or the possibility of punishment. He made a bad decision, that's all. Prison is completely inappropriate. This man is not a child molester or predator by any means. He is not dangerous to society. The made a mistake and posted the pictures. Imprisoning him is a waste of money and resources and causes further overcrowding when the courts overrely on prisons. It is waste of money and the courts. Prisons are the schools of crime and educate non violent offenders to become hardened criminals. They learn skills and how to avoid detection.

This man's actions were a mistake. He had no intention to "distribute" child pornography. It was a mistake made in the heat of the moment, with contributing emotions of rage and revenge. Prison is completely inappropriate. It serves no purpose and fails to address the social and economic, psychological and biological root causes of the crime. This man will be released with no rehabilitation, and a criminal record which creates barriers to later employment and housing opportunities. He is a low risk to re-offend, is not a danger to society and expressed remorse for his actions. Prison is an excessive punishment. I also think that holding this man at Headingly prior to his court date, was also excessive. Prison is a negative environment with negative influences and pro criminal attitudes. He should have been granted bail as he is not a danger to society. This crime was motivated by a need to revenge and emotions of rage. This man should have received 2 years probation with no access to internet or contact with the victim, court ordered counseling and community service. That would be more meaningful than prison.     

it has been proven time and time again that punishment in most cases, is completely ineffective. Rehabilitation, and prevention and restoration are the effective and long term crime solutions. Too bad the Conservatives ignore criminological and sociological research....

haha 3,000 years we've been throwing people in prison. 3000 years it hasn't been working. I distinctly remember having this conversation already. See what I mean about not changing opinions? You are fighting a battle of wits, with an unarmed opponent. There is no way to win. He will just scream "CRIMINALS" every time he sees a crime, and never look past it.

There are much better ways to punish and rehabilitate people than prison. The fact we don't use them is pretty telling. Nobody learns from prison, except how to commit more crimes. My proof? Look at yourself. What do you learn from? Certainly not the people you encounter in your day to day life. You learn from what you believe will benefit you. You see no value in others peaceful beliefs because you cannot make profits from it, so you choose to discard them.

This is the type of mentality that supports our wholesale industrial slaughter of innocent human beings halfway across the world, on the premise that 'we' are better, and deserve more rights, than other people.

Prison for this man is harsh, inappropriate and excessive. He is not a danger to society and is a low risk to re-offend. He made a mistake by posting nude pictures of his ex-girlfriend online that was motivated by a desire for revenge and emotions of rage. He expressed remorse for his actions. Prison serves no purpose, has negative effects and creates barriers for employment and housing opportunities. He should have received probation and community service.  

1 comment:

  1. i love how you used my CBC Manitoba comment at the bottom there after the capitals. I'm rather flattered. I must say, thank you. I do try.
    I very much like your idea of a blog, and you do have some very lovely ideas.