New Year

A recent spate of discoveries in the Burns/Rafay case has come about through a platoon of volunteers coming forward because they’ve seen “The Confession Tapes”. These people are legal professionals and researchers motivated to do pro bono work to right what has now become an apparent injustice. People at Innocence International are extremely grateful for this work. Not one piece of so-called evidence from the trial has held up to scrutiny nor, as is always the case in a wrongful conviction, has any information arisen to confirm the convictions. This development bodes well for the progress of the case in 2018.

Why is it that so many murder victims in Canada, especially BC, are “known to police” but we, the citizens, never learn the names of the victims and the perpetrators? Who is being killed by whom? Why are there over a thousand missing and murdered BC women, whose cases are still unsolved? Why are so many sexual assault cases labeled “unfounded”? Why does the RCMP seem so inept at solving serious crime? These are questions that we must be prepared to confront rather sit back and believe that all Canadians are being well served by our national police force. As I’ve said previously, individual RCMP officers are as good or bad as any other profession in society. But the force is dominated by a culture that needs scrutiny. Their responsibility for the wrongful convictions in Burns/Rafay has to be examined in the light of that culture.


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About ken

I am a former Toronto teacher and writer now living in Vancouver. I work with Dr. Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter, with whom I published Eye of the Hurricane: My path from Darkness to Freedom (Chicago review Press, 2011), as Director of Media Relations and as an advocate for wrongly convicted prisoners. Other publication credits include Songs of Aging Children (Arsenal Pulp Press, 1992) a book of short stories about troubled youth, and Taking Steam, a play co-authored with the late Brian Shein, staged at New York's Jewish Repertory Theatre and Toronto in 1983. Life Without (Quattro Books, 2012) is a novella about a New York cab driver wrongly convicted of killing his pregnant wife. Gary Geddes (Lt. Governor's Award for Literary Excellence) described it as "one of the most brilliant and harrowing short novels I've read since I went on a John Hawkes binge."

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