Editor of hate speech publication Your Ward News released from jail pending appeal
James Sears, 55, was convicted on 2 counts of willful promotion of hatred in January
A man who was sentenced to a year in jail Thursday for promoting hatred toward women and Jews has already been released on bail pending his appeal.
James Sears, 55, the editor of the hate speech publication Your Ward News, was convicted on two counts of willful promotion of hatred in January.
Sears is appealing on the grounds that the judge's decision was unreasonable and his sentence too harsh. He has called the hate law under which he was convicted "arbitrary" and the prosecution "politically motivated."
Ian McCuaig, the lawyer handling the appeal, told CBC News that one of Sears's bail conditions is that he cannot make public statements.
"I think he's probably very happy. He hasn't provided me with any statement," McCuaig said. "I certainly wish him well, I'm sure justice will be done, but I can't tell you how it's going to go."
Lisa Kinsella, co-founder of advocacy group Standing Together Against Misogyny and Prejudice, was involved in stopping Canada Post from distributing the print version of Your Ward News in January, back when Sears and publisher Leroy St. Germaine were found guilty.
"I understand that he would apply for an appeal," Kinsella said. "Am I disappointed? For sure."
Kinsella told CBC News her advocacy group had spent years speaking to police and the attorney general's office about laying charges against the pair for willful promotion of hatred.
"I thought this was a very good opportunity to shine a light on how women were depicted in Your Ward News," Kinsella said.
According to a post written by St. Germaine on the publication's website, its old website was shut down as one of the conditions of Sears' bail pending appeal.
In elaborate language, St. Germaine describes the first time Sears was released on bail after his arrest, writing that he had "fresh handcuff marks still on his wrists in the same spots where Jesus was wounded when he was nailed to the cross."
St. Germaine, 77, will be sentenced Thursday for willfully promoting hatred against women and Jews.
The Crown has asked that he serve six months in jail.
St. Germaine said in the online post that he also plans to appeal.
With files from Jasmin Seputis and The Canadian Press