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LETTER: Langley resident concerned justice system overwhelmed

Putting more laws on the books doesn’t make society more just
Have an opinion you’d like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)

Dear Editor,

There is more legislation than ever. What is called the justice system is overwhelmed. Ever more jurisprudence defines and constricts us. It is harder to have laws removed than to have them enacted.

We need laws to govern our interpersonal behaviour, due to our inability to behave well toward one another. We need to agree that the laws are fair and just, or we risk anarchy.

We do not need statutory duplication. Why is it necessary to have a law against promoting hatred, when there are already laws against threatening people?

Once upon a time people were less inclined to seek the inadequate remedies provided by our imperfect judiciary. People were more likely to resolve their differences face to face.

Calling the cops, spending money on lawyers, and waiting until eternity for a court date were less common. Granted, there were some differences that remained unreconciled, just as in today’s litigation-happy world, an unsatisfactory judgement has the same result.

As taxes increase, the economy degrades, the judicial backlog continues, and more people than ever commit acts of urban terror, the responses available to the citizenry are limited.

Long, long ago in our neighbourhood there was a man called Pierre, who sexually assaulted a boy who was a friend of our family. My stepfather and my friend’s dad were both World War II veterans. They had lots of friends at the local legion. My friend no longer needed to be afraid of Pierre, and neither did the other kids in our neighbourhood once the vets found out.

No one knows what happened to Pierre. He disappeared. The mothers reassured their children that they were safe, that Pierre was gone, and he wouldn’t be coming back. I can’t help but think that our neighbourhoods were safer then, because people took personal responsibility protecting their families, as they should. Those who know what happened to Pierre have had their day.

Like the people back, then we should try to build strong communities with shared values.

Far, far away in Burbank, Calif., in 1968 a popular television show was produced that had some unusual characters and comedy bits. It was called Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in. Around this time a popular expression people used was “You do your thing, and I’ll do mine.” Another one was “Order in the courtroom, here comes the judge.”

Richard Penner, Langley City


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Heather Colpitts

About the Author: Heather Colpitts

Since starting in the news industry in 1992, my passion for sharing stories has taken me around Western Canada.
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