Kennedy to testify about pardons

Sheldon Kennedy, who suffered years of abuse at the hands of former hockey coach Graham James, will...

Sheldon Kennedy, who suffered years of abuse at the hands of former hockey coach Graham James, will be testifying in Ottawa. (QMI AGENCY)

BRYN WEESE, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 6:05 PM ET

OTTAWA -- Sheldon Kennedy, a 10-year veteran of the NHL, will speak to MPs Wednesday about pardons.

Kennedy famously came forward about the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of Graham James, a junior hockey coach in the prairies who plead guilty to 350 counts of sexual assault in 1997 and was sentenced to three and a half years in jail.

James was quietly pardoned 10 years later, and news of his criminal record suspension, which only surfaced this past spring, caused an uproar and the government moved quickly in June to change the country's lax, rubber stamp pardon process in time to stop infamous killer Karla Homolka from being eligible.

Kennedy, who has become a spokesman against child sexual abuse, will speak at Parliament's Public Safety committee Wednesday as the co-founder of Respect Group Inc.

The new measures that all parties agreed to in June include giving the National Parole Board the discretion to deny pardons and extending the amount of time offenders have to live crime free after serving their complete sentence before being eligible for a pardon.


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