Sunday, December 5, 2010
Update on Betty
Betty Krawczyk, the 80 year old great-grandma I wrote about some time back, has issued a press release informing us that the B.C. Appeals Court has denied her appeal.
"Of course I'm disappointed," Betty said. "I'm always disappointed in the decisions of the B.C. Supreme and Appeals Court concerning peoples' struggles over trying to protect public and/or First Nations property."
She said the court did address the ridiculousness of the Attorney General likening her to chronic offenders in violent pedophile cases. "Those cases are relevant" the statement quotes in the court's legal-speak "............concerning limits of the scope of appellate review in sentence appeals, and not for any other purposes."
"But I have trouble with this," Betty said. "Scope of the appellate review is supposed to compare like cases to like circumstance, not go wildly off the rails," as the Attorney General did in Betty's case. [I wrote the Attorney General's office in outrage, and received a carefully worded government-speak reply that meant absolutely nothing. Ass-covering, at best.]
The three Justices did mention that Betty's ten-month sentence was high. "And they did throw me another little crumb. The Appeal Justices did not seem convinced that Madam Justice Brown [who heard Betty's case] was right in refusing me credit for the one-month I spent in jail waiting for Cameron Ward [her lawyer] to return from vacation at the beginning of my trial. I felt I was being unfairly criminalized without my lawyer being present, and in a fit of pique rescinded my undertaking.
"Mr. Justice Tysoe wrote: Page 9, no. 29, “The rationale (for refusing me credit that could have been applied to my ten month sentence) was that it was Mrs. Krawczyk’s decision to remain in custody. I have reservations whether this approach is correct in principle…I think the point should be left to another occasion when the court has the benefit of full submissions.”Betty is trying to make the point that people should not be handed criminal sentences for exercising their democratic right to peacefully protest the desecration of our public forests.
"I’m not sure at the moment what full submissions on this point might consist of but I will find out. Because there will be more of this governing by injunction as the Attorney General is apparently too lazy and morally lax to do his job while many First Nations and other environmentalists are gearing up for protest. And I will go with what the Justices of the BC Appeals Court have given me, meager (as) it might be. I will apply to be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada. In other words, I will appeal this appeal."
"I want to thank all of you who stood by me, came to court, spoke out, wrote to the Attorney-General's office because you also love this land, the waters, the wild animals and forests of British Columbia as I do. And you love justice. How can we possibly lose?"
Sadly, we know how all too well. We have been fighting to protect our remaining old-growth since the '80's and the trees are coming down faster than ever.
But, Betty, you rock and for using your life to shine a spotlight on this horrible situation, we love and salute you.
If you wish to follow Betty's journey, her blog is at http://www.bettysearlyedition.blogspot.com/