Bob Layton: Night court

WATCH ABOVE: In his latest editorial, Bob Layton talks about whether Alberta could use night courts.

If you think victims don’t always get justice, you are right, especially in Alberta.

Court cases are being stayed in Calgary because of a lack of prosecutors.

READ MORE: ‘It’s a travesty’: Nearly 800 criminal cases thrown out over delays since 2016 Jordan decision

In Edmonton, from March to June of this year, more than a hundred files were not prosecuted.

These are what they call low complexity cases, that would take less than half a day to prosecute, like shoplifting, mischief and assault.

READ MORE: ‘We’re at a critical point’: Alberta prosecutors too overloaded to take cases to trial

The province is promising to hire 50 new prosecutors, but we could do better than that.

To avoid delays, we could have night court handle arraignments or bail. That’s night court, like they have in other places, like California or Australia. In Canada, Vancouver has night court for small claims civil cases.

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If we were serious about removing the “justice delayed” stigma we could add criminal cases and clear back-logs.

Those looking for work, could clerk. Witnesses who work days would not have to take time off.

READ MORE: Alberta’s unemployment rate climbs to 6.8% to start 2019

There are complaints drunk driving cases take too long. Police could bring the blow-over right to the judge, to stagger in immediately, not in six months when the driver is in a suit and sober.

Have they considered night court? Is it a bad idea or can the people in charge not see the forest for the felons?

Let me know what you think.

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