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Lawyer - 2 officers convicted should not be sent to prison

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Lawyer - 2 officers convicted should not be sent to prison

Postby oneh2obabe » Nov 6th, 2012, 2:07 pm

Two officers convicted in Toronto’s police corruption trial have exemplary police records and should not be sent to prison, their lawyers argue.

Peter Small
Courts Bureau

Drug squad, police corruption trial, Toronto police, John Schertzer, Steven Correia, Raymond Pollard, Joseph Miched, Ned Maodus

The former boss of an elite Toronto drug squad with an “exemplary” service record should be spared a jail sentence for attempting to obstruct justice, his lawyer says.

Retired Det.-Sgt. John Schertzer and four former cohorts were convicted of doctoring their notes to falsely claim they had a warrant when they searched a heroin dealer’s apartment in 1998.

But it was not for corrupt reasons, but for a good investigative motive, said his lawyer, Alan Gold on Tuesday.

It was “a one-off transgression in an otherwise exemplary career,” Gold told Ontario Superior Court Justice Gladys Pardu at the five defendants’ sentencing hearing. “His performance records are impeccable.”

Gold said prison for the former police officer would expose him to harm from gang-affiliated inmates. The lawyer suggested a sentence not requiring jail, ranging from a discharge to a suspended sentence. If jail is imposed, it should be for a short period, he added.

Schertzer headed the elite Team 3 of the Central Field Command drug squad in the late 1990s, which laid hundreds of charges but became a lightning rod for criticism from defence lawyers. Many of their cases were dropped by the Crown when they came under investigation.

In this case, the prosecution has asked for four years in prison for Schertzer, and three years for his former subordinates, Joseph Miched, 54; Raymond Pollard, 48; Steven Correia, 45; and Ned Maodus, 49.

In June, a jury convicted all five of attempting to obstruct justice, after a five-month trial.

Correia, Pollard and Maodus were additionally found guilty of perjury for lying about the search of the drug dealer’s apartment at a preliminary hearing. Several of the officers were acquitted on other charges, including extortion, theft and assault.

Gold listed several mitigating factors in sentencing Schertzer. He is now the primary caregiver for his two daughters, 14 and 16, while running a restaurant with more than 12 employees, Gold said.

“Innocent bystanders” such as his wife, homicide Det. Joyce Schertzer, have been negatively affected, Gold said, quoting from her letter filed in court: “I was considered collateral damage.”

Correia’s lawyer, Harry Black, argued that his client — the only offender still a police officer — would be fired if sentenced to even one day in prison.

To jail Correia for three years, as the Crown suggests, would be “cruel and utterly uncalled for and utterly without precedent in this country,” Black said. He called for a suspended sentence and community service.

He asked the judge to consider the “punishment already endured” by his client. He has borne the stigma of the charges and unnecessarily harsh reporting conditions since the charges were laid in 2004, Black said.

The sentencing hearing continues.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/crime/a ... yers-argue
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Re: Lawyer - 2 officers convicted should not be sent to pris

Postby noneofyourbiz3 » Nov 6th, 2012, 3:07 pm

No. They deserve prison regardless of their now questionable track records. After all, this is all they were CAUGHT doing and likely all of it carries jail time. Same laws and penalties apply to you folks us the rest of us.
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Re: Lawyer - 2 officers convicted should not be sent to pris

Postby Ken7 » Nov 6th, 2012, 7:35 pm

In some ways you have to say jail time.

However, the Courts have to look at the previous records. The question is then, would you put a first offender who could be rehabilitated in jail?? What is past practices by the courts for the same offence?

Rarely will you see that in today's court houses anywhere in Canada. It saddens me to hear a officer fell for greed!
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Re: Lawyer - 2 officers convicted should not be sent to pris

Postby FreeRights » Nov 11th, 2012, 12:02 pm

The correct answer is to look into case law and compare sentencing.

If these officers are first-time offenders, they should get a similar sentence as another first-time offender who is convicted of the same law. If that means jail time, then so be it. If not, then so be that, too.
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Re: Lawyer - 2 officers convicted should not be sent to pris

Postby goatboy » Nov 11th, 2012, 12:25 pm

FreeRights wrote:The correct answer is to look into case law and compare sentencing.

If these officers are first-time offenders, they should get a similar sentence as another first-time offender who is convicted of the same law. If that means jail time, then so be it. If not, then so be that, too.


Although they do need to be held to a higher standard. Once the trust of their honesty is lost, how many other people can that effect. Not sure if jail is the answer but some type of accountability is definitely warranted.
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Re: Lawyer - 2 officers convicted should not be sent to pris

Postby diggerdick » Nov 11th, 2012, 2:16 pm

some type of accountability is definitely warranted. :dyinglaughing:
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Re: Lawyer - 2 officers convicted should not be sent to pris

Postby Winston_Smith » Nov 11th, 2012, 8:35 pm

goatboy wrote:Not sure if jail is the answer but some type of accountability is definitely warranted.

Why isn't jail the answer? They were a bunch of thugs masquerading as cops who used their power to satisfy their own personal greed.

Doctoring notes to perform illegal searches, lying/perjury in court, crown counsel dropping charges on suspects because the unit was so absolutely corrupt, accused of extortion and theft...

And those were just the things that investigators caught!
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Re: Lawyer - 2 officers convicted should not be sent to pris

Postby FreeRights » Nov 14th, 2012, 12:01 pm

goatboy wrote:Although they do need to be held to a higher standard. Once the trust of their honesty is lost, how many other people can that effect. Not sure if jail is the answer but some type of accountability is definitely warranted.

The "higher standard" should have no effect on the sentencing of the crime. If it is deemed that the trust and honesty is lost, they should still get a similar sentence to anyone else in a similar situation. That said, their position as police officers should be reconsidered.
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