Harper seems bound and determined to avoid asking for leniency for those condemend to death if he can help. There are even cases as this article shows where the government is not free and democratic in any sense yet so far he has not intervened. In the Montana case it seems to me that he has intervened finally since the court ordered him to do so. It is a wonder he did not appeal! I am sure Albertans will be pleased to find that their support of Harper makes them rednecks according to Cleroux!
This is from westislandchronicle.
Harper : A Small Step towards the Noose by Richard Cléroux View all articles from Richard ClérouxArticle online since June 26th 2009, 13:40 The noose
Harper : A Small Step towards the Noose
For years Stephen Harper’s political adversaries have been saying he’s got a secret agenda to bring back capital punishment.
Harper has always denied it categorically. He’s always said it is one debate he has no intention of re-opening. But now we’ve got some proof, well, a little bit of proof. Just enough in fact to ask ourselves how far is Harper planning to go. The other day Harper sent his foreign affairs minister Lawrence Cannon into the Commons to announce the Conservatives new policy on capital punishment. Cannon didn’t mince words. From now on, the death penalty will be acceptable for Canadians sentenced to death in democratic, sovereign countries which have a justice system based on the primacy of law. That covers about half the 201 countries in the world, including Canada. Perhaps Harper was trying to please his hard-core, red-neck base in Alberta, where hanging is seen by many as the solution to difficult criminal issues. And with elections expected this fall, now would be the time for Harper to make his pitch to his base. By the time the campaign rolls around, it will look too much like opportunism. Who Harper and Cannon may have been thinking about is the case of Ronald Allen Smith, a Canadian sentenced to death 26 years ago in Montana for murdering two Natives. He’s been on death row in Montana every since and it’s a big issue in Alberta. Harper doesn’t want to lift a finger to get him back to Canada. Let the Americans execute him, even though the Federal Court has ordered Harper to do something for him. Who Harper and Cannon seem to have forgotten are two other Canadians in situations a lot murkier. Mohammed Kohail is a young Canadian from Montreal sentenced to decapitation in Saudi Arabia following a fight in a school yard in Jeddah that left one student dead. The Saudi take school yard fights seriously. The second is a Canadian awaiting execution by firing squad in China for having said some things the Chinese government didn’t like, a serious crime in China which executes 1,1000 people a year. Cannon told the Commons that in democratic, sovereign law respecting countries he won’t plead for clemency for Canadians sentenced to death. So he’ll only plead for clemency in undemocratic countries where they don’t respect the rule of law? How effective will that be? What does he tell King Saud who figures himself a great democrat and respects Sharia law. The king has all the oil he needs to prove it. Is Harper going to tell the Chinese during his visit this fall that they are not democratic and don’t respect the rule of law? And what about Canada? Aren’t we democratic and don’t we respect the rule of law. Are we going to be Harper’s one single exception? Who came up with this idiotic policy? Or is Harper planning to take another step and go all the way removing Canada as the exception? There’s always the chance that Harper could change his mind over the summer after the MPs return from the barbecue circuit, but don’t bet the ketchup on it. In the meantime let’s hope that not too many non-democratic countries take offense and decide to teach Harper a lesson his Canadians will never forget.