Harper Government sentences man to death

by Jack Locke

Although Canada abandoned the death penalty officially in 1976, it’s clear the current Harper government would like to see one Canadian executed, even if they don’t have to pull the switch.

Canadian Ron Smith has been on Montana’s death row since 1983. According to former judge Michael Keedy(who first imposed the death penalty on Smith) in an exclusive Lockeblog interview he says, “As far as I can recall, the Canadian government took no role in Mr. Smith’s case in the “early stages,” as you say, or even for a number of years thereafter.”

As Smith’s last-ditch effort to save his own life comes before the Montana Board of Pardons and Parole on May 2, the letter sent by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird to the Montana Board Read John Baird’s Letter HERE does not mention that Ron Smith did not have a trial, does not mention Canada’s previous failure to ensure Smith had a trial, and does not offer to accept Smith’s return to a Canadian prison in exchange for clemency.

But the letter does include: “On March 4, 2009, the Honourable Mr. Justice Robert Barnes of the Federal Court of Canada ordered the Government to support Mr. Smith’s case for clemency.” Read Federal Court decision HERE

The Harper Government may just as well have said, “We support Mr. Smith’s execution.”


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