The Canadian justice system hard at work. Or not.

Until a couple days ago, I had no idea if you were a member of the RCMP, you were entitled to use stress as a defense against an assault charge–even if the assault charge was because you pounded on an innmate. Apparently, if you’re an RCMP officer in Alberta, that’s the defense that keeps you out of jail. An RCMP officer, after admitting he did a number on an innmate who’d already gotten whacked one in a bar fight, blames the stress of having been one of the officers called to the scene after the murders of 4 police officers.

Now, before folks jump all over me for being a cold and uncaring bastard, I get that it’s a mental kick in the teeth dealing with something like that. Obviously he worked with and was probably friends with those people, so yeah it’s going to be hard. I get that. But if you’re still bothered/stressed over that kinda thing, the absolute last place you should be is right back at work–particularly work wherein you’re dealing with other people. And the absolute last thing you should be doing is leaning on that as an excuse for having lost it and pounded the crap out of some shmuck you brought in on charges of his own. And yet, that’s precisely what this officer did, and then walked away from it.

Maybe I’m a nutter over here, but if average Joe who’d just been handed a craptacular week or two, complete with losing a family member, friend, coworker or whatever, haulled off and let some other average guy have it, he’d be sitting in jail right now for–oh–we’ll call it a year or two. This guy? Nope not so much. Six-month conditional sentence, 3 of which spent under house arrest. Barely a tap on the wrist–and still nowhere near the 6-9 months in jail that was asked for. And all because of stress. Guess it really does pay to be in law enforcement. Where do I sign up?

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