Editorial 26 - March 2006 - Justice in the Courts
too many gay bashers are walking away with low sentences. In some
cases, the sentences for men who killed gay men have been very light.
An example of that comes from Canada, where some of the men who were
convicted of killing Aaron Webster were given such light sentences
that it brought into serious question the credibility of the police,
the prosecutors and the judges involved in the cases. For example,
one of the men convicted of Aaron Webster's murder was allowed to
remain free on bail, between the time he was convicted and the time
he was sentenced. In this case, the court system let a man who was
convicted in the murder of Aaron Webster remain free until he was
sentenced. The fact that those who are involved in hate crimes
should be allowed to walk the streets as free people, because they
have not been sentenced yet, makes the court system look like a
The book is highly recommended to anybody interested in homophobia
and violence aimed at gay people.
Because the victims of hate crimes against gay people are not always
able trust the police to adequately investigate the crimes, trust the
prosecutors to vigorously prosecute, or trust the judges to give
reasonable sentences, it might be necessary for gay people to seek
other legal methods of justice. Douglas Janoff, in the book Pink Blood: Homophobic Violence in Canada, makes a number of excellent suggestions about obtaining justice. He indicates victims can seek private prosecutions or punitive damages
from gay bashers. Many people may remember the case of OJ Simpson.
While OJ Simpson was not found guilty of the murder of Nicole Brown
Simpson and Ronald Goldman in criminal court, civil courts imposed a
large damages judgment against OJ Simpson for the murders. A Court
TV article states OJ Simpson was ordered to pay the victims'
families $33.5 million.
The victims of hate crimes may want to consider the option of seeking
damages in civil courts. Seeking damages through the courts is a way
of obtaining justice, when the criminal justice system fails the
The opinions expressed in this editorial are not those of Douglas Janoff.
Pink Blood: Homophobic Violence in Canada
is written by Douglas Janoff. The book can be purchased through
Amazon Canada or