Xiao Zhang Case:BC courts GUILTY of contempt
If only BC courts showed the same respect for the courts and the legal system that they demand–or least hope–of us. But they don’t.
BC judges and BC courts have often made a complete mockery of our laws, the justice system and the citizenry’s expectations to see justice done and be protected from the evil that dwell among us.
And no case in my view exemplifies that more than that of killer Xiao Zhang.
Zhang, you should recall, mowed down and killed visiting New Zealand tourist Dr. David Higgins, who was crossing Granville Street in a marked crossing at the foot of the Granville Street Bridge in June 2006.
Zhang didn’t even stick around or render any aid: he took off, leaving Higgins to die.
And then the real injustices began: when Zhang was tracked down and caught, our court system, seen by many to already be a despicable failure, went to work and no doubt added many more adherents to that belief.
The judge sentenced Zhang to 11 months in jail. Eleven months. After killing someone in a crosswalk. And leaving the scene as a hit and run. Eleven months.
And by the way, Zhang had already come to the attention of police a year before that for striking down a woman trying to reserve a parking spot …but was not charged. BUT he ALSO had earlier convictions for theft under $5,000 and possession of stolen property.
I have often wondered if it was a judge’s son who was mowed down, or a hockey player or politician or prominent lawyer if the sentence would have been eleven months.
I do not believe so. No way.
Of course, the killing Higgins was not the end of Zhang’s run-ins–and the seeming mockery of the justice system.
After that he also violated his bail conditions before his court case; pleaded guilty to hit and run causing death AND dangerous driving ….and then skipped his sentencing hearing, leading to a Canada wide warrant being issued.
Oh, and ONE DAY extra for skipping his court date. Feeling better? Or that justice was done?
Four months into his sentence… Zhang got parole.
Two weeks after being paroled, Zhang was arrested for stealing a wallet and sent back to jail until released on probation a few months later.
Now, he’s back in jail again, reportedly facing more than 30 charges for fraud, impersonation, robbery and auto theft.
So let’s see! Eleven months for killing someone and taking off; one day for skipping his sentencing; so I guess, if convicted, he’ll get a half-hour sentence for his latest crimes.
And in view of the policy of granting double time credit for time already served, which would be greater than his sentence, even cash compensation?
Maybe even an apology from the BC court system for inconveniencing him again.
Harv Oberfeld is a retired broadcaster and blogger. This column originally appeared in his blog, Keeping It Real.