IS THE BISHOP’S SENTENCE FAIR?

Some time ago Catholic Bishop Raymond Lahey of Nova Scotia pleaded guilty to multiple counts of possessing child pornography that included naked young boys wearing rosary beads and crucifixes.  The child pornography made up only a small percentage of the 155,000 pictures of porn the bishop had on his computer.

The law says there must be a minimum sentence of one year in jail for these offences.

However Ontario Judge Kirkland sentenced Bishop Lahey to time already served, eight months.

Yesterday the Bishop left jail in a car driven by a woman.  He is now a free man.

Was this sentence adequate?   Why did the judge shorten the time served so that the Bishop evaded the mandatory sentence.  If Lahey were not a bishop would he still be in jail?

Is the bishops’s sentence fair?

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8 Comments »

  1. 1
    Paul Says:

    Technically he did not evade the mandatory sentence. He was sentenced to fifteen months – three months more than the minimum. It was the fact that he opted for immediate imprisonment and benefitted from the “two for one” rule relating to time already served that led to his early release. I think there are very few criminals who serve the full amount of time they are sentenced to. As to the question of whether the fifteen month sentence was enough I personally think it was about right but I am sure that is not everyone’s view.

  2. 2
    Neil McKenty Says:

    The facts are that the mandatory sentence (not discretionary) is 12 months. The bishop served eight months.

  3. 3

    He was in possession of child pornography, which is disgusting enough, but I don’t think he was accused of indecency with a minor, so I think that the jail term was okay. (I am suspicious though…)
    He’s 71 years old and has been “outed”, lost his reputation & career.
    Good riddance!

  4. 4
    Barbara Says:

    The psychiatrist felt there was no risk of his further offending — and isn’t that the ultimate reason for release from prison? No amount of prison time will erase the effects of what he has done. He is a marked man, on the sexual offenders list, an object of public shame and he will be on a short leash for a good, long time. He will likely face civil charges from any who claim he has abused them. It is yet unclear what the Church will do about him. Scot-free does not quite describe his situation. He will live with the stink of his transgressions the rest of his life.

    The Church better come up with something appropriate and penitential or it might as well close its doors in the Maritimes.

  5. 5

    I believe that a church spokesman said “he was finished with the church”.
    Apparently the Pope has not commented, though he was asked.

  6. 6
    Paul Says:

    He got fifteen months – three months more than the mandatory sentence. Almost everyone serves less time than they get. That was the case here.

  7. 7

    Knowing the Catholic church and this pope he’ll likely be given a cushy job in Rome where he’ll spend his final years living in luxury… just like that amoral, inhuman Cardinal Bernard Law.
    Justice will not be served if you’re counting on the RCC to do it.

  8. 8
    Jim Says:

    This yoyo should have been charged with many more offences, one of which would be abetting the support of manufactureres and distributors of porn. Can anyone imagine the chain of consolidation required to assemble all those children required to print porno for sale to one person 155,000 photos. Even at the rate of one child per 1000 photos that would mean Lahey was part in parcel of organized crime to the tune of raping 155 children. Secondly, have the powers that be checked out if Lahey was a distributor? Acting as a very lenient judge, may I suggest that the sentence should have been one month in prison for each child molested. BTW If I were to check behind the judicial scene, I would be willing to bet that the reason the judge did not give him heavy duty time was because he knew that the other convicts would have jumped him and cornholed him every day for 155 days. Oh Lordy, please don’t pluck my eye, I’ll turn the other cheek.


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