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Rants by Sheila Steele

Sheila Steele Why we need justice and why we hate lawyers. We put up this page in the summer of 1998 while we were still fighting for our space on the Internet. We have become less brash and more "reasonable" in most of our more recent postings.

But we still come back to this page every now and then to remind ourselves what was the driving force behind the creation of injusticebusters. We've had over 100,000 hits to the main page of our site and we've helped dozens of people get a fair shake from the system. Most lawyers in Saskatchewan have become even more contemptible and although we've heard some wild stories of bad lawyers from coast to coast (notably Nova Scotia) we still think Saskatchewan has the very worst. (Further rantings on this theme)

Unless we want to live in a sorry excuse for democracy, we'd better challenge injustices. inJusticebusters fought back and we're still standing!

The first step in fighting back is to stand up for yourself. You can walk yourself through the justice system with the advice in these pages.

The next step is to not let them get away with anything. Right now they (police and crowns especially) are getting away with so much that they expect people to be docile and compliant. Be polite but don't let them push you around.

People talk about the great "deals" they made. Like they got away with something. In the unlikely event that you actually got a good deal, you can be sure that it was at the expense of some other poor sucker who didn't do as well. Crown attorneys and defense lawyers strike these bargains all the time. It suits them well. It is not good for us.

In keeping with the above is an overall strategy to clog up the system. The system relies on people paying fines or accepting unfair plea bargains because they are embarrassed or busy or for some other silly reason.

Meanwhile the system has gone mad. Hiring cops and jail guards who are trained only to be bullies (and a lot of them were bullies to start out with -- that's why they took the course!) Building more jails, more youth facilities, more courts, and appointing more judges. What kind of person goes to law school and wants to be a lawyer under these conditions? Yup, you got it. Money grubbers. Repressed bullies. Status seekers. People who like to look down on others. But then we have whole pages devoted to why we hate lawyers.

More Rants . . . Copyright rant can be found here

Section 486 of the Criminal Code:
Exclusion of the Public in Certain Cases

This section describes the circumstances under which publication bans are ordered.

There was a publication ban on the material in the Foster Parents' Scandal. This ban was broken several times. Names have been published by the Globe and Mail, Western Report, Saskatoon CFQC-TV, STV, CBC Radio and Television and others

There was a weak effort to fight the ban and then the media caved in. Until July, 1998, the StarPhoenix referred to Richard Klassen as "a man who cannot be identified because his identification would reveal the identities of children in a child sexual abuse case" or some such.

When his activities were reported in conjunction with Steele, the report would read "Sheila Steele" and a man who cannot be identified because his identification would reveal the identities of children in a child sexual abuse case". Calling him by his name would surely have been more sensible. Richard Klassen was falsely charged and should not ever have lost his right to be called by his name because of this! Sheila Steele was completely open about her intentions and her associations and certainly to portray her as hanging around with a shadowy, nameless person, possibly a pedophile, was not fair.

The Saskatchewan injustice System

Crown prosecutors force innocent people to accept plea bargains

For instance, in the Foster Parents' Scandal, Peter Klassen was told charges against his wife and children would be stayed if he would plead guilty to several charges including those involving Michael and his sisters. The Crown already knew that every single allegation they had acted upon from these children was false, and had already prepared to. stay the charges However, by threatening Peter with the incarceration of most of his immediate family they were able to extract from him a guilty plea. The prosecutor offered a two year sentence. Instead Peter received a four year sentence. He served every single minute of this sentence: The condition one must meet when applying for early release on sexual assault convictions is to admit guilt and then to re-enact the crime as part of the therapy program. It is not possible to re-enact a crime one did not commit in the first place! While Peter was in prison, his wife died.

The full account of this begins with the StarPhoenix article "Scandal of the century feared," and continues with injusticebusters' reporting the big story the StarPhoenix abandoned. (injusticebusters is pleased to report that the SP picked the story up again in January, 1999).

The StarPhoenix dropped the "Scandal of the Century" when "Martensville" became the unsavoury flavour of the month. They reported extensively on Martensville because active police officers were initially charged. Reporters on this story had enough information regarding Travis Sterling's innocence to turn public opinion. Travis was innocent of the charges, the Crown presented no evidence to convict him, and yet he was convicted. It seemed more comfortable for everyone concerned to have a fall guy and that guy was Travis in the Martensville case! The StarPhoenix was far more interested in selling newspapers -- and hysteria certainly sells newspapers -- than it was in quelling the hysteria and telling the truth about Travis Sterling!

It is time the StarPhoenix apologised for its contribution to the hysteria which was publicising the crackpot hypotheses of Anglican church minister Collin Clay that Saskatchewan was the center of Satanic cult activity.

There has been real cult activity in Saskatchewan. It was not "Satanic" but rather the work of Rev. Gordon Cole, one of the "Brethren" of an outfit called "Love Covenant Community of Praise." This cult operated in Saskatchewan during the seventies and fleeced many Saskatchewan people, including the Department of Social Services. Cole is posted on our "Registry of Dangerous Sex Offenders".

inJusticebusters have asked both the StarPhoenix and the Free Press to go after this story and gave them enough background information to get them started last March. inJusticebusters do not have the resources newspapers have to do full investigative reports, but once we are convinced a story has to be blown open, we can do it and we will do it!

Crown prosecutors renege on plea bargains.
And now Crown prosecutors in Saskatchewan have permission to interfere with juries!

It could happen here!

This shocking torture case from Texas (Aaron Lee George) has been remedied to some degree by the response of people on the Internet to Aaron Lee George's plight. There are many more examples of how arrogant and top heavy justice systems crush people: Leonard Peltier rots in prisons while the authorities resist significant public pressure. See what is happening in Canada right now: background on the murder of Robert Gentles in the Kingston pen. Robert GentlesCheck out what New York City is doing to street people! Unless we stand our ground against the smaller injustices, at home and far from home, the big ones are inevitable. Visit our drugs page to find out how vicious implimentation of bad drug laws ruins lives and kills people all over the continent. Then look at the Saskatchewan battlefield in the so-called "war on drugs."

Burt Bilyeu Jr. wants penpals. A former combat marine who served in Vietnam, United Veterans of America investigated his murder conviction and found him totally innocent. Lawyers failed him at every stage, from the first false charges to his conviction and long sentence.

Saskatchewan imitates the most backward-thinking states in the U.S.

Look at our evidence that the highest judges in Saskatchewan want to keep secrets from the public in the guise of respecting privacy. It is clear that it is their robes and Dueck's badge and their comfy inept -- and sometimes corrupt -- prosecutors they want to protect. They want to bury this shit so deep it will have fossilized before anyone can smell it.

Lawyers in the media advise them to respect stupid gag orders and publication bans. They hire the lawyers that advise them to do this. They could hire different lawyers. The judiciary in this province is composed almost exclusively of lawyers. Legal Aid is run by a woman (lawyer) named Jane Lancaster who thinks it is more important to run her show on a balanced budget than it is to provide adequate defenses for people in need. Crown lawyers are beneath contempt. And defense lawyers in Saskatchewan have been making a very poor showing for a very long time.

Mother wins battle in jail death probe
Granted right to examine guard 'subculture'

The mother of a 23-year-old man who died of asphyxiation in Kingston Penitentiary has won the right to examine whether a prison guard "subculture" has led to a "conspiracy of silence" about his death.

Evidence about the subculture is "relevant and material" to the inquest into Robert Gentles' death, and a coroner's decision to reject it deprived Gentles' mother of natural justice, a three-judge panel of Ontario's Divisional Court ruled yesterday.

Gentles, who was serving a 31-month sentence for sexual assault and uttering threats, died after being restrained on his bed by five guards on Oct.24, 1993.

Julian Falconer, a lawyer representing Gentles' mother Carmeta, has wanted to argue at the inquest that a prison subculture -- identified by a 1989 internal Correctional Service of Canada report -- still exists and has led to some prison guards being evasive or drawing memory blanks when questioned about what happened.

The 1989 report points to guards complaining of being harassed and threatened by other guards who took on a position of informal leadership within the prison.

Mr. Justice John O'Driscoll, Who wrote the decision, agreed there is evidence of a link between the "subculture" and the "memory losses."

"Has anyone suggested any other reason for the faulty recollections?" he wrote.

"Is there any other explanation why so many CSC officers have suffered memory lapses about the same event?"

The connection is underscored by the correctional; service's inability to produce a single document to suggest the subculture had been alleviated by 1993, O'Driscoll said, writing for Justices Ed Then and Marie Corbett.

Which brings us to out next rant . . .

Why we hate lawyers

  • Somebody told me the other day that there is one lawyer for every five people in Canada.
  • That is something of an exaggeration, I'm sure, but there are certainly too many of them.
  • So, that's a good first reason for hating lawyers.
  • Like any overcrowded population they are scrambling for resources and the resources they are scrambling for are us.
  • They are the predators and we are the prey.
  • If they ever had ethics, scruples or morals, that was when there were enough of us to go around.

Sometime in the course of their obscene growth binge,they looked at each other, all of them, wannabe lawyers, use-to-be-lawyers (judges), defense lawyers, prosecution lawyers, and they nodded and winked and said to each other -- we must expand the justice system. Harshly enforce the laws we already have, create new new and stricter laws, build more jails, hire more police and more guards, and there will be more to go around.

  • Of course it didn't happen like that. Nonetheless, it happened. And it is still happening.

A larger justice system does not mean more justice.

  • In Saskatchewan, at any rate, it has certainly led to less justice.
  • Injustice is rampant in our province.
  • Too many police, too many prisoners, and too little justice.

The Law Society, which is supposed to keep lawyers honest, is more worried about people going to court without lawyers (thus losing revenue for the profession) than the quality of the service they provide.

We are here to tell you that we don't need lawyers like the ones we have. And they are not going to shape up unless they are forced to. They are the playground bullies and we have to be the kids who get together to stop them.

  • We want to make our hatred of lawyers a creative force.
  • We say, fire them all. Make them earn their keep.
  • Don't be afraid of the justice system. It should belong to all of us.
  • We can defend ourselves.
  • And we must!
  • The alternative is unthinkable.
  • Contempt for lawyers will be an ongoing theme of the inJusticebusters website.
  • When they earn our respect they shall receive it.
  • When defense lawyers bust injustice, we'll find something else to do with our lives.

Maybe hating lawyers is something like hating men. (When asked if I hate men, I generally respond "Which ones?" The same answer would apply to the question, "Do you hate women?") In Saskatchewan, though, it would appear that while men and women can change, lawyers can't. Then again, maybe we all resist change until we are forced to do so for our own self interest! This may be true of lawyers also. inJusticebusters make it our mission to make Saskatchewan lawyers set aside their greed and hypocrisy because it is in their interest to do so!

Rant written sometime in 2000 -- definitely before we had as much evidence as we now do regarding the scuzziness of Saskatchewan lawyers. This was written before Ed Holgate found the lost notes which certainly could have saved us a lot of grief. This rant was written to reconsider the use of the word "hate."

They really are a scuzzy lot, Saskatchewan lawyers. When we first launched our website in the summer of 1998, we featured an essay called "Why we hate lawyers." Hate is a succinct word and we have paused to consider whether it was "appropriate" from time to time. Yes, it is appropriate. We hate lawyers like we hate the Ku Klux Klan or any other group of people distinguished by its ability to feed on its own ignorance.

Of course most professions fall easily into that category. Doctors certainly have shown themselves to be protective of members of their organization who fall from grace. One must note that they have not come to the defence of those in their ranks who sexually abused their patients. They have demonstrated that they can recognize "unprofessionals" and weed them out. (Although it remains to be seen whether Dr. John Schneeberger will set up a practice somewhere in the country when he gets out of jail.) Not so with Saskatchewan lawyers. They seem only to go after members of the group who genuinely stand up for their clients. (After Robert Borden complained about prosecutors to a StarPhoenix he received many complaints against him.)

Let's start with the Crown prosecutors. Matt Miazga and Sonja Hansen, the original prosecutors against Ross, Ross and White and Klassen and Kvello finally quit when they realized their child witnesses were telling obvious lies on the stand and the case against the Klassens and Kvellos was falling apart. They had, by this time, convicted Ross Ross and White but those convictions were overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada. Peter Klassen was also innocent of the charges involving the Ross children.