One expert said the decision to conditionally release General Jonathan Vance after he was found guilty of obstructing justice marked a “devastating” blow to accountability for senior military leaders.
In an interview with Dr. West BlockMercedes Stephenson, Megan McKenzie of Simon Fraser University, says the way the application was handled in court and the decision not to release Vance with a criminal record speaks volumes about the long-standing cultural challenge that remains in the civil justice system.
General Jonathan Vance pleads guilty to obstruction of justice, conditional release
“It is already very difficult for the victims to come forward. It’s so personal. It’s hard for their lives. There is nothing for them but a sense of justice, “said Mackenzie, who holds the Simons Chair in International Law and Human Protection and specializes in the study of military culture.
“So for them to see a case like this result, basically, slapping and applauding instead of being convicted of a crime, I think it’s really discouraging.“
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During the appeal hearing, the defense repeatedly emphasized Vance’s military service record when Justice Robert Wadden described him as a “man of good character” who still had “much to contribute.”
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“I don’t think you need to be convicted of a crime,” Waden said during a discharge on Wednesday.
Six letters of reference were read in court in support of Vance’s character.
There was no victim impact statement.
Trudeau did not comment on whether Vance’s Order of Military Merit should be upheld despite his conviction.
McKenzie said his respect for military leaders, such as the prestigious Order of Military Merit, attaches high importance to Vance in light of the discharge.
“Transferring military cases to the civilian system in general is not going to be a silver bullet,” he said. “We still have a wide range of cultural issues.
“So I think removing someone’s respect and all the access and privileges they get is a complete failure to hold someone accountable, at least in the case of justice.”
Under the terms of the discharge, which the judge granted, Vance must complete 80 hours of community service and cannot contact Major Kelly Brennan, who identified herself as a woman behind the allegations in an interview. West Block On February 21, 2021.
Vance can only contact Brennan for legal advice on family court matters. Vance and Brennan share a child and Cellar tells the court that Vance is paying child support to Brennan.
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