Tuesday, April 6, 2010 | Categories: Episodes
Pt 1: Pardons - He was convicted of the crimes, he served the time and later he received a pardon. Graham James was among an estimated 15-thousand former prisoners who received a pardon from the National Parole Board between 2006 and 2007. His victims say that should never have happened. (Read More)
Pt 2: Noteworthy Documentary - When the Industrial Revolution came along, music was tossed out of the workplace. Machines replaced the need for people to coordinate their activities through song. But centuries later, as technology has allowed researchers to peer into the brain, we are discovering that music can once again enhance the workplace. (Read More)
Pt 3: Black Widows - As Russia reels from suicide bombings, it's the women of Chechnya called Black Widows who are increasingly involved in these attacks. (Read More)
Whole Show Blow-by-Blow
It's Tuesday, April 6th.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai threatened to join the Taliban if the west keeps pressuring him to bring in reforms.
Currently, the Taliban countered by threatening to join NATO.
This is The Current.
Pardons - Sheldon Kennedy
Three years ago, Canada's National Parole Board gave Graham James a pardon. It meant he could apply for a job or rent an apartment without declaring his criminal past. Pardons do not erase criminal convictions. But they do mask them from the police databases people use when conducting routine background checks.
Pardons are not uncommon in this country. But this weekend's discovery that Graham James was granted a pardon is particularly upsetting for some, because of what he did. As a junior league hockey coach, he was convicted of sexually assaulting his players, young boys who, to this day, continue to be haunted by those experiences.
Sheldon Kennedy was one of them. He's a former NHL player and co-founder of Respect Group Inc., an organization that helps in the prevention of abuse, bullying and harassment. Sheldon Kennedy was in our Calgary studio.
The Criminal Records Act does not differentiate pardon applicants by the type of offence they have committed, nor does it allow the Board to refuse to grant a person a pardon based on the nature of their crime.
The Board considers each pardon application on a case-by-case basis. The review process includes verification through police records and direct contact with law enforcement agencies.
In the case of criminal records of persons pardoned for sexual offences, these are flagged in the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC), allowing for these records to be disclosed in screening individuals for positions of trust with children and other vulnerable persons. When a criminal record verification is conducted in the course of a screening, an unsolicited message alerts police that there is a sex offence on record.
If there is evidence of further criminal activity, a pardon can be revoked. If the individual is convicted of another indictable offence, the pardon automatically ceases to exist, and the criminal record is reactivated.
Pardons - John Hutton
Our next guest hopes the public outcry over Graham James won't force changes to a system he says works for all Canadians. John Hutton is the executive director of the John Howard Society of Manitoba. He was in our studio in Winnipeg.
Pardons - Factboard
Nearly 15-thousand Canadians were granted a pardon between 2006 and 2007, the year Graham James was also pardoned. About 1-hundred were refused. Between 2008 and 2009, almost 40-thousand pardons were approved. In fact, over 111-thousand pardons have been given in the last five years.
And according to the National Parole Board, of all the pardons granted since 1970, only 4 percent have been revoked. It suggests nearly all recipients have gone on to live law-abiding lives.
We also heard from one person with a criminal record, who's hoping for a pardon.
When the Industrial Revolution came along, music was tossed out of the workplace. Machines replaced the need for people to coordinate their activities through song. But centuries later, as technology has allowed researchers to peer into the brain, we are discovering that music can once again enhance the workplace.
Roberta Walker looks at how music is finding its way back to work in her documentary Noteworthy as part of our series, Work In Progress.
Black Widows - Fred Weir
Russians are all too familiar with female suicide bombers. Forty per cent of Chechen suicide bombers have been women. And now, more information is coming out about the two women responsible for the devastating attacks on the Moscow subway last week. One of them -- 17-year-old Dzhenet Abdurakhmanova -- was a Black widow ... a term coined for women who avenge the deaths of relatives by carrying out suicide bombings.
Fred Weir has been covering the on-going conflict in the Caucuses Region of Russia and the rise of the female suicide bomber. He's a correspondent reporter with the Christian Science Monitor and he was in Moscow.
Black Widows - Mia Bloom
Mia Bloom has done extensive reserach on the phenomenon of "Black Widows." She's a professor of International Studies and Women's Studies at Penn State University. She's also the author of Dying to Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terror. Her forthcoming book is called Bombshell: Women and Terror. Mia Bloom was in University Park, Pennsylvania.
Last Word - Work Song
Earlier in the program, the CBC's Roberta Walker continued our Work in Progress series by reviewing how music in the workplace evolved as the workforce abandoned manual labour for knowledge work. We'd be remiss if we didn't give a nod to The Tragically Hip's take on the subject.
So we ended the program with their song, My Music At Work. May it stimulate your brain as you get your work done today.
Artist: The Tragically Hip
Cd: My Music at Work
Cut: # 1, My Music at Work
Spine: Universal 012