In several cases, the Canadian Government has been reluctant to extradite individuals who flee persecution in the United States when facing punishment for sex offenses. It’s not that the Canadians are more tolerant of sex crimes, they are absolutely not! It’s that they are less tolerant of the draconian, often lifetime sanctions imposed on all those who are deemed “registered sex offenders”.

Last year, Canada blocked the extradition of a man because he could potentially face “civil commitment” which is tantamount to life in prison, a sentence far harsher than he could ever face in Canada and what Canadians would consider to be cruel and unusual punishment.

Last week, Canadian courts refused the extradition of a second man who was charged in the US for transmitting two pornographic videos containing bestiality and one video containing child pornography. Among other problems with the extradition paperwork, the court pointed out that it was never alleged that the the individual knew one of the videos contained child pornography. “The inference that he knew that one of the three videos was child pornography and that he knowingly distributed them is too great a leap and not a reasonable inference without anything more in the record of the case,” “The court cannot order extradition without evidence of knowledge which would justify committal for trial in Canada.”

Both the threshold for conviction in Canada (specifically, in this case, knowledge that the file contained something illegal) is higher and the punishment lower. With that in play, the more just and humane treatment of criminal defendants in Canada prevented them being turned over the the US.

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