Why are lawyers so despised?

Here’s one reason.

An 53-year-old father of three pleaded guilty to committing incest and sexually assaulting his daughter repeatedly for thirteen years—ever since she was a mere three years old.

He voluntarily sought treatment in 1988 and and confessed to assaulting seven young children over a period of eight years.  He served two years in jail for his crimes.

Two days after he was released from jail, he went back to raping his daughter on a near-daily basis.  Including the day of her high school graduation.  He threatened to break up the family and rape her younger sisters if she told anyone.  The mom was hearing-impaired and often sent on errands while the dad went about his disgusting criminal acts.

He also raped the daughter’s pet cats, dogs, and a horse.  If an animal resisted his attempt to have sex with it, he would choke it or kill it.

The Crown is trying to seek dangerous offender status for him, but the defence counsel— one Laurie Wood—has an interesting take:

Defence lawyer Laurie Wood said her client was OK with the lengthy wait because he knows he is facing a long prison term and could be tagged a long-term offender.

But, she said: “I don’t think he’s a dangerous offender.

Wood added that her 53-year-old client is doing fine in the Edmonton Remand Centre, where he is being kept in an area commonly referred to as the “old-timer’s unit.”

— Tony Blais, “Crown wants bizarre deviant labeled a dangerous offender“.  SUN Media / Edmonton Sun, September 25th, 2007.

[emphasis mine]

Fine.  Let him babysit your kids, Ms. Wood.

Keep in mind that every day spent in the Remand Centre counts as double time for the purposes of computing his sentence and time remaining.

More details here at the Edmonton Journal.  Via Shere Khan at Dust my Broom.

UPDATE:  From the comments at the Broom.

Is there any doubt he is going to get “dangerous offender” and be locked away for ever? How is that a failing of the court now, even if the court in 1990 failed utterly? It’s up to Parliament to create punishments, not the court.

[emphasis mine]

Parliament did create the punishment; said punishment is not less than 45 days and not more than 10 years.  And diddling seven kids over eight years earned him a grand total of two years in the penn.  By that metric, he would have needed to assault 35 kids over half a lifetime in order to earn the full ten years for his crime.

I could be wrong, but it seems like the judge (and legal profession from which he was drawn) has sold the lives and wellbeing of these seven children a little cheaply.  That is hardly Parliament’s fault.  The first judge had discretion to award a heavier sentence, and chose not to.  I doubt if very many non-lawyers would be similarly inclined.

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