Prison colonies: Because some traditions from the British Empire still survive!
A Canadian court in Newfoundland has decided to enact an old, old punishment on one of their criminals. Gordie Bishop, a 32 year old man who has never left Newfoundland, will be banished to the harsh, godless wasteland of Alberta.
The Calgary Herald reports: “It is important to know that this is not designed to foist a criminal on another jurisdiction,” Bishop’s lawyer, Stan MacDonald, told the court, as reported by The Telegram in St. John’s. “It’s designed to break a cycle of criminality.”
MacDonald and the prosecution jointly recommended the sentence, and the judge agreed.
Banishment dates back to ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. Bad seeds in a community, with serial patterns of misbehaving, were sent off to wander alone — often in the wilderness. The idea was that they would have ample time to live their shame and reflect upon the error of their ways and, perhaps, change.
Or else perish.
I’m sure that Newfoundlanders everywhere will miss Mr. Bishop, who has a 27-page record. On the bright side, maybe spending some time in a new setting will help him make a new start… Or Alberta just got stuck with a big troublemaker. Only time will tell!