Category Archives: Canada Law News And Opinions

BC Court And The Raymond Caissie Story

Recently there has been a lot of story revolving around the murder of the 17-year-old Surrey student named Serena Vermeersch. According to all the news reports I heard the main suspect was a man named Raymond Caissie where he had a history of criminal activities and was put in jail as a result. The main controversy was that in the court system he was deemed as a person who was highly like to re-offend. However, it appears that after he served his time he was pretty much free to go. It’s because of this unfortunate incident that people are now questioning items like why he didn’t serve a longer sentence. To note as well, to my knowledge nothing has been fully proven yet.

This is the kind of thing that became more apparent to me after going through my civil case experience in the court system. As I expressed before, while my case wasn’t a criminal matter I could easily see why more serious matters like these produce the results that they do. It just feels like the system is set up in such a way where it’s more about processing as many cases as possible to say “we did something” and then moving on to the next issue.

Two points I heard was that it makes no sense to keep everyone in jail forever. So longer sentences from a Judge isn’t the answer. At the same time, making orders to keep people monitored costs way too much money. It made me wonder, what could the solution be? This might be a crazy thought, but thinking back to my civil case example court documentation can play a huge role.

Can you imagine if there were actual court videos for the cases and open transcripts for the public to see on say a government funded website for free? That would sure make a criminal really think more about consequences as people can easily research and spread what is happening in their community for free. As of now though, in many cases there is no such thing and to get things like transcripts it costs hundreds of dollars. So if anything a court sentence can in many ways simply be like two people privately having a despite at home without the public knowing what happened.

Hopefully the system will become more accessible and that it doesn’t take more cases like this to get people to realize that an update is necessary.

Too Much Benefit of The Doubt For The Accused or Not

I was reading this crazy story recently about a lady named Jojo Geronimo who owned a tattoo parlor here in BC. Allegedly her and her client named Byron Thomas Hobbs was having some kind of dispute over scheduling and this resulted in physical fight. Crazy enough, this was all captured on tape and has been available through social media. Have a look yourself and I think you will be shocked too:

The main controversy that seemed to be arising out of this is that the accused is on the streets again pretty quickly which makes you wonder what is going on inside those court systems. Sadly enough, even I expressed how for my case even though it wasn’t say a deadly criminal case I can easily see why these cases turn out the way they do. In my opinion, from personal experience it comes down to giving too much benefit of the doubt.

I obviously don’t know all the details for this case, but if I was to reflect this with my own I can imagine them first having to go through this ludicrous pre-trial setting without simply going straight to the facts. Ironically, as I expressed before it’s the victims that essentially get the short end of the stick as it feels like the system is built to process cases as opposed to resolving them. How many more stories like these it will take for some serious change?

Fixing BC’s Justice System With Regular People

I bumped into this video on Youtube where a person was simply talking about ideas on how the justice system can be changed for the better in his views in an effort to reduce things like the extraordinary delays in processing cases. For the most part, he was talking about how you shouldn’t need to be say a lawyer or a judge to help judge a case, so to speak.

He talked about this interesting example in a village where there was a mini “court” that consisted mainly of people in the community. Essentially, both sides were able to state their case and afterwards literally anyone in the community that had something to say or ask about it would. Apparently the whole process took like a day only and a resolution was met. You can see the video here:

While that may sound stupid to a lot of people, I was thinking as in many ways it’s no different than having a designated “jury” except in this scenario that “jury” is opened to everyone that is interested in the issue. I guess another debatable point that was mentioned would be is the only real way to fix the system is to allow people other than lawyers to be say the decision maker? With my limited knowledge of the current system for example, the only way a person can be a “judge” is if they have been a lawyer and are voted amongst people who are in the industry. That would make perfect sense on why it feels like the whole process was built for lawyers and judges as it essentially is.

I was even thinking before with my court case, imagine if it was as simple as both parties are in a designated room where the whole thing is live streamed for everyone in the community to judge and question. Maybe it’s just me too, but that sounds a heck of a lot cheaper even for archiving purposes rather than an individual having to pay like $800+ dollars for a “transcript.” Makes it more accessible too if say there was a publically funded site where anyone and everyone can have the ease of accessing the cases to reference.

Like now for example, there is no way an average individual is going to pay like $800 to catch up on the latest cases in town so that they can evaluate if the system is working or not per se. In my view too, that is one of the biggest reasons on why it doesn’t seem like anything gets fixed or changed as people simply don’t have the firsthand knowledge of what is really happening in those court rooms other than the sensational stories that get published in the media. Overall though, I agree with the notion that more “regular” people are needed to fix this situation.