Foreign justice

The Justice Minister’s decision to order the extradition of Hassan Diab is a source of concern. Meanwhile, interim Liberal leader Bob Rae has written to the governor of Montana to plead for clemency for Ronald Allen Smith.

Without excusing the brutality of the crimes committed by Mr. Smith or the severity of their impact on the families of his victims, his execution is still clearly unwarranted.  It runs counter to basic principles of civil rights and fundamental justice, and offers no benefit to public safety.  In writing you in this way I am standing by longstanding Canadian public policy and jurisprudence.  The Canadian law is clear: the death penalty is tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment, and retribution alone does nothing to heal or rehabilitate communities.

In 2008, the Canadian House of Commons adopted a motion that the government should stand against the death penalty as a matter of principle, both in Canada and around the world, and I would reiterate the Liberal Party’s principled and unwavering support for that motion.