How long will Clifford Williams stay in jail?

He had no money and no lawyer. He got twenty-eight years for his first offense —far worse than a life sentence. Here is a dramatic example of the inequalities that exist in Canadian justice

SIDNEY KATZ February 18 1956

How long will Clifford Williams stay in jail?

He had no money and no lawyer. He got twenty-eight years for his first offense —far worse than a life sentence. Here is a dramatic example of the inequalities that exist in Canadian justice

SIDNEY KATZ February 18 1956

How long will Clifford Williams stay in jail?

He had no money and no lawyer. He got twenty-eight years for his first offense —far worse than a life sentence. Here is a dramatic example of the inequalities that exist in Canadian justice


ON APRIL 6, 1951, a personable twentyyear-old named Clifford Williams appeared before Judge René Thé berge at the Sessions of the Peace, District of Montreal, and received an almost unheard-of sentence for a first offender: twenty-eight years in St. Vincent de Paul Penitentiary. A week earlier he had pleaded guilty to nine charges of armed robbery, committed in a hectic six-week period in company with other youths. The total loot amounted to $1,099.

Williams had never in his life been in serious trouble. He had no lawyer to defend him; neither relatives nor friends were in the courtroom to speak for him. He had nothing to say on his own behalf. Now he was facing a prison sentence that would keep him in jail longer than the “fife” sentences doled out to some convicted murderers.

While Williams was learning his fate, in another courtroom only a few yards away another judge was busy sentencing Jean Paul Fournel, a twenty-eight-year-old confessed bank robber. Fournel had been sent to Kingston Penitentiary in 1947 for five years for having attempted to hold up a bank. He had been out on probation for a few months, and, in that time, he had robbed three banks of $15,000 and attempted to stick up a fourth one. Yet Fournel’s sentence was lighter by four years than that of Clifford Williams a twenty-year-old first offender.

The comparison between the Williams and Fournel cases is one example of the disparity of sentences meted out by Canadian criminal courts. Last Dec. 2, for instance, Ervine Mandell, of Montreal, pleaded guilty to the charge of obtaining seventy-eight dollars from a drugstore clerk at gunpoint. He had fourteen previous convictions. He was given three years. Back in 1952, in Toronto, four young men were each sentenced to two years less one day after conviction on a score of armed robberies and assault holdups. Another man drew two years for his part in the $2,000 armed robbery of a Toronto bowling alley.

In one Canadian penitentiary there are two men who have been convicted of manslaughter. One tried to rob a man at gunpoint; his victim resisted, and died in the fight that followed. This man was sentenced to seven years. The second prisoner had become involved in a quarrel with his girl friend. He slapped her and she slipped, fell downstairs and died from the resulting injuries. This man received almost twelve years—a punishment almost twice as severe as that given the armed robber, although in the latter case there was no premeditation. The warden of the penitentiary says, “I’ve seen men enter here with only a four-year sentence for embezzling as much as $80,000. Others have received ten years for breaking into a confectionery store.”

The disparity of sentences is something every prisoner serving time is aware of. So is every prison official because it makes his job more difficult. A prisoner who knows that the man in the next cell is only serving half the time for a more serious crime than his is apt to be bitter and resentful. The presence of several dozen similarly disgruntled men in the prison community creates deep unrest and tension.

Of the five thousand prisoners now serving time in Canadian penitentiaries, Clifford Williams, now known as Number Y 7420 at St. Vincent de Paul, is probably the greatest individual sufferer from this system of unequal sentences. He is just completing his fifth year of his twentyeight-year sentence. If his prison record is unblemished, his sentence may be reduced to twenty-two years for good behavior. If the remission branch of the Department of Justice grants him clemency, following its usual procedure, his term may be shortened to somewhere between fourteen and nineteen years. This means, in effect, that Williams will have put in more time than most inmates sentenced to life imprisonment. “Lifers,” in practice, seldom remain behind bars longer than ten to fifteen years. This includes convicted murderers whose death sentences have been commuted to life imprisonment.

Rabbi Charles Bender, for many years a chaplain at St. Vincent de Paul, has described Williams’ sentence as “vicious.” George H. Corbett, a Montrealer who had a lifelong interest in penal matters, was haunted by the fate of Clifford Williams right up until his death last summer. He wrote from his sick bed, “I seethe with indignation every time I think of that unfortunate boy, especially when men guilty of graver offenses, with police records, get the most nominal sentences.” Ralph B. Gibson, Commissioner of Penitentiaries, wrote Mrs. Warren K. Hale, a socially prominent Montreal woman who has befriended Williams, “I think he has received a long sentence, considering his age and lack of criminal record.” A senior partner in one of Montreal’s largest law firms says he was “shocked and perturbed.”



Williams is regarded as a model prisoner at St. Vincent de Paul. He is known as a fast worker in the prison printing and binding shop where he’s employed, and has qualified for the top-scale prison pay—twenty cents a day. He has a boyish face and sallow complexion; he has brown hair and eyes and he wears his hair in crew-cut style. He weighs about one hundred and twenty pounds and stands five feet six inches. In general appearance, he looks much younger than his age. But there’s a good possibility that he will not emerge from prison until he’s approaching middle age, a ruined, embittered man, far past the age of rehabilitation.

Why are the criminal courts so often severe with one man and lenient with another? The answer isn’t simple. The nature of the laws, the background and personality of the judge, the presence or absence of legal counsel, the geographical location of the crime, the current state of the public temper, and the status of the prisoner all exert an influence in determining how much—or how little—punishment any given person will receive for any given crime. For armed robbery a man may be set free on probation or be sent to prison for life.

Then, too, judges differ in their attitudes toward the consecutive and concurrent sentence. One judge may give a man found guilty of five offenses five years for each offense, to run concurrently-—a total sentence of five years. Another judge may decide to have them run consecutively—a sentence of twenty-five years.

IIow will the judge rule?

The personality of the judge is important. Some take a particularly serious view of certain types of crime and are apt to deal severely with the offender who commits them. An opinion held by many criminals is that the older the judge, the longer the sentence. An experienced criminal lawyer is aware of the individual differences in the presiding judges in his district and uses this knowledge to the advantage of his client. In the same year that Clifford Williams, without legal counsel, received his twenty-eight-year sentence, a young man of twenty-six went on a drinking spree for several days and spent much of the time gambling. He had bad luck. To recoup his losses he staged six armed holdups. When he was arrested his well-to-do family hired a well-known criminal lawyer to defend him. The lawyer kept on postponing the case until the court was presided over by a judge who was known for his broad sympathies and his belief in the concurrent sentence. The young man was sentenced to only six years.

To some degree, the state of the public temper influences the severity of the sentence. A succession of local crimes arouses the indignation of the community. It was Williams’ bad luck to come up for sentencing on April 6, 1951, a date preceded by an epidemic of Montreal robberies—including Williams’ own. Chief Justice Edouard Archambault of the Sessions of the Peace had instructed his colleagues on the bench to be severe in an effort to halt the increasing number of holdups.

A study of the Williams’ case suggests that it was a combination of these many factors that resulted in his heavy sentence. Perhaps the court might have been more lenient had it enquired more closely into the prisoner’s social background. It might have agreed with Rabbi Bender’s conclusion that “Clifford’s been getting the short end of the stick all his life.” His life history is a classic story of how the lack of love, parents, guidance and a home can ravage the human personality.

“Lived on bread and molasses”

The Williams family first came to the attention of a Montreal social welfare agency in 1933. The marriage is described in its records as “disastrous.” Somehow the family struggled along for another four years. In 1937, the agency record reports, “By now the situation has deteriorated to the point where the children are showing indications of becoming delinquent.” Clifford, age seven, was “smoking and swearing.” There were now six children. Since both parents were often out working, the family was left in charge of the eldest child Anne, who was now eight years old.

Anne (this is not her real first name), who is now married with three children of her own and lives in a Montreal suburb, gave me a graphic description of her family life at the time. She was responsible for dressing, washing and feeding the children. “I couldn’t cook so we all lived on bread and molasses,” she says.

The breakup of the family came in the fall of 1937 when they were at the point of being evicted for nonpayment of rent. The children were distributed to various foster homes and orphanages. Clifford, after a few unsuccessful foster home placements, was sent to the Protestant Orphans’ Home, later to be renamed Summerhill House. He was to remain here from the time he was seven until he was twelve. In a recent letter from prison, he described these years as “the most contented, the happiest years of my life.”

The reason Clifford became so fond of the orphanage was that, for the first time in his young life, he met a mature woman who gave him affection. This woman is Esther Hale, a member of a prominent Montreal family. Her father was T. B. Macaulay, president of the Sun Life Assurance Company; her husband, Warren K. Hale, was an executive with the same company until his retirement some years ago. Today, Mrs. Hale is an impressive grey-haired woman in her sixties. She has five grown daughters and eleven grandchildren. Her only son was killed during World War II.

Mrs. Hale met Clifford while acting in her capacity as a board member of the orphanage. She organized a boys’ club among the children. She told them stories, played games with them, prepared meals for them and took them on picnics. Of all the children in the orphanage, Clifford was her favorite. He was an attractive and affectionate child. “He was a somewhat lonesome youngster and always wanted to sit beside me and hold my hand,” Mrs. Hale recalls. “I remember hoping that he would have a home and children of his own when he grew up—things he had never had before.” Clifford was often a guest at Mrs. Hale’s home and romped with her grandchildren. Mrs. Hale says that in all the years she knew Clifford, he was normal, well behaved and scrupulously honest.

In June 1942, just after his twelfth birthday, he was transferred from the orphanage to Weredale House, a home for boys. He continued to visit the Hale house regularly. Every Christmas he was at the front door at eight o’clock in the morning to pick his present off the tree and play with Mrs. Hale’s grandchildren. At Weredale House, he earned a reputation for bravery and initiative when he saved the life of a playmate in an accident that occurred down at the nearby railway yard.

At school, Clifford wasn’t a good student. According to an intelligence test given to him at that time, he rated as normal but in the lower part of the scale. After repeating the sixth grade, he lost all interest and was glad to go out and work. He was fourteen.

Between his fourteenth and sixteenth birthdays, Clifford had three or four jobs with printing firms. He was not involved in any trouble. At sixteen, he was proving a little difficult to manage. “Like many other adolescents, he was going through a period of cockiness and impudence,” recalls V. F. McAdam, who is still the superintendent of Weredale House. “But he was in no sense a delinquent.” McAdam felt that Clifford would benefit from a short stay at the boys’ farm and training school at Shawbridge, Que. Here there would be the opportunity of acquiring good work habits and learning a trade. McAdam emphasizes the fact that Clifford was not sent to Shawbridge as a punishment. He got along well there and, after a year, he returned to Weredale House. After another year-—he was now eighteen —he left to go out on his own. He was working in a restaurant and was self-supporting.

It was during Clifford’s first crucial year of freedom that he took a step that probably led to his downfall. He rented quarters in an apartment in downtown Montreal in the DorchesterLagauchetière district-—a district well known to the Montreal police for alcoholism and prostitution. His new environment must have had a demoralizing effect on him. His sleep was frequently disturbed by all-night poker parties. His sister Anne reports that an alarming change came over Clifford, “He was now bold and fresh and devilmay-care.” He had also ceased visiting the Hale family.

At the beginning of 1950, Clifford was out of work. He began hanging around pool halls in the St. Catherine-Peel area. He met youths who were older and more experienced. One of them told him, “If we had any guts we’d go out and get something for ourselves.” Finally he became a partner in crime with Robert Lambert, 24, and Edward Green, 23. Later, in prison, he explained to Mrs. Hale, “I felt that I had nothing to lose. I had no job, no money, no clothes, no home. I was having a pretty rotten time.”

Could a lawyer have helped?

According to Williams, he and his companions bought a toy plastic pistol at a hardware store for sixty-nine cents and painted it black to make it look like the real thing. In a six-week period beginning on Feb. 13, 1951, they committed a series of armed robberies. Williams’ most frequent accomplice on these escapades was Robert Lambert. It was never established in court whether a real or toy gun had been used. In the eyes of the law, it makes no difference which type of weapon is used. The police claimed that both men were armed with real revolvers. Opposed to this is Williams’ claim that it was a toy gun. Mrs. Hale, to whom he has repeatedly made statements to this effect, says that in all the years she has known Williams she has never caught him in a lie.

Williams and Lambert were rather amateurish small-scale robbers. Without disguise, they would wander into a small confectionery store or restaurant late at night. According to Williams, Lambei't would show the gun while he took the money. When they finished the job they would rush outside, hail a cab and return to Williams’ apartment where they would divide up the loot. They usually stole small amounts, although once they got $450. Williams’ total share was probably around three hundred dollars. He used most of the money to pay his rent and buy clothes. A sixty-dollar tailored suit was his most memorable purchase. It was the first good suit he had ever owned.

At the end of March Williams was recognized on St. Catherine Street by one of his victims who immediately called the police.

A few days later he faced Judge René Théberge in court. Théberge is a former criminal lawyer who has been on the bench for ten years. Williams pleaded guilty to nine charges of armed robbery; he was tried on four of them. He had no lawyer; nor did he have money to engage one. A competent lawyer could have protected Williams’ interests in several ways. He might have questioned some details of the confession, claiming that it was obtained under duress; he might have had his client plead “not guilty” to the charges as read; he might have brought Williams’ unfortunate social background to the attention of the court; and, finally, he might have introduced a number of character witnesses to testify that Williams was normally a well-behaved young man who lost his way for a period of six weeks.

Many jurists feel that the possibility of injustice is so great that no person under twenty-one should be allowed to plead guilty to an indictable offense (one punishable by a prison sentence of two years or more) without being represented by legal counsel. Alex Edmison QC, assistant to the principal of Queen’s University, and a pioneer in penal reform, once pointed out that a person under twenty-one years of age cannot sign a binding contract to purchase a suit of clothes on credit, but the same person, without advice or guidance, can plead guilty to a charge that might send him to prison for twenty years.

Williams was completely alone in the courtroom. His sister Anne was at home, sick in bed. He didn’t get in touch with Mrs. Hale because he was ashamed of what he had done. Williams himself didn’t utter a single word in his own defense. He later explained, “I was scared. This was the first time I was ever arrested and the first time I’d ever been in a courtroom.”

He expected to receive no more than five years. He was therefore stunned to hear Théberge condemn him to twenty-eight years. Robert Lambert, who pleaded guilty to seven charges of armed robbery, was given twentyfive years by Théberge, while Edward Green, third member of the trio, who pleaded guilty to one charge, received five years.

Before Williams was led away to the cells the judge granted him permission to use the telephone. He called his sister and told her of the sentence. “It made me cry,” she says. “Had I known what they were going to do to Clifford that day I would have been in that courtroom even if they had to carry me on a stretcher.”

The official record of Clifford Williams’ conviction and sentence is to be found in document No. 2904 of the Sessions of the Peace, District of Montreal, dated April 6, 1951. This document is distinguished by the careless, sloppy way in which it is drawn up. In the place reserved for the name of the convicted man, Williams is wrongly called “William Clifford.” This misnomer appears in one other place in the document. The court announced that Williams was given a sentence of twenty-eight years, yet the details of the sentence as spelled out in document 2904 add up to thirty-one years. A well-known lawyer has described document 2904 as “a disgrace to the court.”

After being sentenced Williams was temporarily removed to the Bordeaux jail. It was his legal right, within the next two weeks, to launch an appeal against either the conviction or the sentence. It was an empty right because he was penniless, without legal counsel, and confused by legal technicalities. The time limit expired. He was then transferred to St. Vincent de Paul Penitentiary where he became inmate Y 7420. His only regular visitor from the outside world at this time was his sister Anne.

It was not until June 1953—twentysix months later—that Mrs. Hale discovered that Williams was in prison. She heard the news from a prisoner who had just been discharged from St. Vincent de Paul and who had been in the orphanage at the same time as Williams. Because the warden of the penitentiary, Col. George Le Bel, is an old friend, he allowed Mrs. Hale to meet Williams in his private office. “I was ashamed to get in touch with you,” Williams told her. He described the tough time he had had during the period preceding the robbex-ies. “You could have come to me and asked for help,” she said. He told her that he had actually visited her home three times and each time she was out.-

Mrs. Hale now began to visit Williams every month. In between, they exchanged letters. After their initial meeting he wrote, “I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your visit bx’ought a x-ay of sunshine into my life . . . You go on thinking that nobody gives a damn and then suddenly you find out that thex'e’s somebody who really cares ... I am only now beginning to understand this world of oux-s. Those photos you showed me set me thinking all night in my cell of the good old days . . . the good times at your hoxxie, the sugaring-off pax-ties. Among my memories those were the best days of my life and it is only you I have to thank for them.”

“Young man who lost his way”

Mrs. Hale’s reaction to the first meeting was a combination of sadness and indignation. “It’s inhuman and cruel to destroy Clifford Williams’ life,” she says. “He is not a criminal. He’s an unhappy young man who lost his way for a few weeks.”

She immediately embax-ked on a campaign to have him released. That caxxxpaign is now in its third year. She has pleaded with officials of the remission service and the penitentiaries branch, both of which are part of the federal Department of Justice. She has interviewed one cabinet minister. She has consulted lawyers, social workers and private citizens interested in penal reform. She has enlisted the aid of private societies, made hundreds of phone calls, written scores of letters and traveled thousands of miles on Williams’ behalf. To date, the results have been discouraging. “Nobody seems willing to touch the Williams case,” she told me. “Some are indifferent, some are busy and some are afraid to have anything to do with convicts, criminals and penitentiaries.”

Warden Le Bel was the first person she approached for advice. According to Mrs. Hale he explained that he himself was a public servant, that he carried out orders and that’s all there was to it. He suggested she see George Tx-emblay, Montreal representative of the remission branch. Technically at least, this service has the authority to release a prison inmate at any time. She interviewed Trexxiblay on Oct. 2, 1953. Mrs. Hale says he explained to her that usually two thirds of a sentence had to be served before a tieketof-leave could be granted. “But that would mean eighteen years,” Mrs. Hale protested. “I wouldn’t be alive then to help him when he came out.”

She wrote to Ralph B. Gibson, Commissioner of Penitentiaries, in Ottawa. His reply was not encouraging. “I have no authority to alter the sentence of the court or to decide at what time a prisoner should be released,” he wrote. She attended the Congress of Correction in Toronto in 1952. At a group meeting, attended by penal experts from all over North America, where the disparity of sentences was being discussed, she described how a twentyyear-old Montreal boy was given t,wenty-eight years in prison for a first offense. A lawyer from Quebec quickly jumped to his feet and shouted, “I don’t believe that!” Another Canadian lawyer backed him up. “Mrs. Hale must have the facts all wrong,” he said. She sat down in dismay.

She went back to see Tremblay of the remission service in February 1954. Since she persisted in pursuing the matter, Mrs. Hale says he suggested that she get a lawyer who could obtain the records from the court and thus ascertain the exact facts. Then she could write to the Department of Justice in Ottawa. According to Mrs. Hale, he was still not optimistic that anything would be done for Williams in the near future. This increased her impatience.

'•‘I hope and pray every night”

She felt that something must be done and done quickly. From visits and letters, Mrs. Hale knew that Williams was making good progress in prison. He was learning all he could about printing and binding. He professed to be penitent and repeatedly promised to go straight when he came out. But his long sentence gnawed at him constantly. He couldn’t forget it. He was surrounded by hardened criminals with long records, whose sentences were much lighter than his own. Mrs. Hale wondered how long it would be before he succumbed to the monotony and hopelessness of prison life. The details of Williams’ fears, hopes, memories, regrets and resolutions are contained in these excerpts from his regular letters to Mrs. Hale:

September 6, 1953. “Working at printing reminds me that I lised to work at Southam Press in Montreal ... I was making good money. I should have kept at the trade instead of shifting. It just came to mind what a fool I was in the end. I know I made a bad mistake and that I won’t make such bad mistakes again.”

September 27, 1953. “This letter is short because I’ve told you everything I can think of. It’s the same thing year in and year out.” In the cold loneliness of his cell, he warmed himself with moments of the past when he knew kindness and affection. “When I was in Toronto once I roomed with an English couple in the east end. I was allowed to sit in their living room with them and on Sunday I used to eat with them. They were the nicest people I ever met. I used to call them Mom and Dad and they liked me very much.”

November 1, 1954. “I will hope and pray that I will be a good boy when I leave here. If I don’t I know that I’ll have to come back and do more time. I know that I’ve had bad luck since I was a kid. But those days have passed and I will have to start my life over again. I hope and pray every night.”

February 21, 1955. “The winter is going fast and will I be glad because then I can get out in the nice sunshine. It won’t be long before I will be here four years. I wish I knew how much time I’m going to do ... I hope some day the judge will cut my sentence or Ottawa will. I know that I’ve learned my lesson. If a man does four years and goes out and comes back he should stay for the rest of his life . . .”

During practically every visit from Mrs. Hale, Williams confided his dread of the future to her. “I’ll be old when I get out,” he once told her. “Then who’ll give me a job? And I guess I’ll never be able to marry, have a home, kids or anything. Is there any use, Mrs. Hale?” Mrs. Hale replied, “Yes, Clifford. And remember—you have friends working for you on the outside.”

Mrs. Hale has carefully concealed the nature of her efforts from Williams to avoid possible future disappointments. But they have been considerable since that day in February 1954 when Tremblay, the Montreal representative of the remission service, advised her to get a lawyer and petition Ottawa.

The lawyer she consulted was an old family friend. It took the court two months to locate the Williams record for him. He studied it and urged Mrs. Hale to bring the matter to the attention of the Hon. Stuart Garson, minister of justice. In Garson’s office in Ottawa on June 7, 1954, she was told that matters of remission (sometimes called parole, clemency or. tickets-ofleave) were the responsibility of another cabinet minister, Senator W. Ross Macdonald, the Solicitor-General. Macdonald’s secretary referred her to A. J. MacLeod, the director of the remission service.

MacLeod is a vigorous and able young lawyer who has considerably improved the remission service during his three years in office. “He appeared sympathetic,” says Mrs. Hale, recalling the interview. “Williams’ broken home life as well as his unblemished record before the crime aroused his interest.” According to Mrs. Hale, he advised her to collect all the facts about Williams’ background and include them in a letter to him. “My hopes were high when I left Mr. MacLeod’s office,” says Mrs. Hale.

Back in Montreal, she set to work to compile a life history of Clifford Williams. She painstakingly tracked down people who knew him from childhood onward, obtaining documents and opinions from them. On Aug. 9, 1954, she wrote everything in a letter to MacLeod. It is a touching document, several thousand words in length, which ends with the urgent plea, “Please do not leave Clifford in prison too long!”

Her hopes were shattered

There was an exchange of several letters between MacLeod and Mrs. Hale. They are carefully filed in the remission service records in folder No. R-134249-C. MacLeod pointed out that, in routine practice, at least half of a sentence must be served before the remission service could consider granting a ticket-of-leave. In the Williams case, he said, there was some indication that he might be allowed to serve even less. Mrs. Hale was not satisfied and her hopes were shattered when MacLeod wrote, “If we consider the sentence, the time already served and the practice in similar cases, it is not anticipated that an exercise of clemency could be favorably considered within the next few years.”

Mrs. Hale now decided that she must see Senator Macdonald, who has the final responsibility for the administration of remissions. After several letters, she arranged a meeting for Nov. 15, 1954. But the minister made no definite promises to her.

When is the remission service likely to give Clifford Williams a ticket-ofleave? The director, MacLeod, is noncommittal. “We looked into the Williams case early in 1955 and we will look into it again at some future time,” he told me. Theoretically, the remission service can free a man at any time; in practice, it seldom, if ever, releases him before he has served at least half his term. In Williams’ case, this would mean fourteen years. Although the remission service is hesitant about usurping the function of the court, some judges think it’s likely that it will intervene and cut down the sentence to proper length. Judge Théberge may have been under this mistaken impression.

The charge has been frequently made that the practices of the remission service are woefully out-of-date. Perhaps one of the reasons is that the Ticket-of-Leave Act, which it administers, has remained virtually unchanged since it was passed in 1895. “Any artificial rule that a man must serve out a prescribed portion of his sentence is wrong,” says Welfare, an authoritative publication which speaks for the Canadian Welfare Council. “We should get out as many prisoners as soon as possible, that is, as soon as they are able to go straight and undertake ordinary responsibilities.” At present, remission practices are under review by a committee headed by Justice Gerald Fauteux, which has already visited England, France and Belgium. One of the things that has impressed the committee is the Canadian habit of imposing heavy prison sentences. In England, for example, which has an enviable record fççc. prisoner reformation, a ten-year sentence is unusual and reserved only for the most serious crimes and hardened criminals.

Mrs. Hale’s campaign to free Williams continues. The possibility of going to the Quebec Court of Appeal and asking for a review of the heavy sentence has been considered. Normally, this has to be done within, two weeks after the sentencing, but in certain cases permission to appeal is granted beyond that time. This step has been decided against for the time being. It was felt that, in view of the heavy sentence imposed, even if the appeal were successful it would still leave Williams behind bars for many years to come. Only recently, Mrs. Hale has brought Williams’ plight to the attention of the Society for the Protection of Women and Children, of Montreal. It has formed a special committee to press for his release.

Mrs. Hale’s anguish grows with each passing day. She knows that after five years of imprisonment Clifford Wil-" liams’ morale is dwindling. He is haunted by the memory of an incident that took place in prison only a few yards away from him. “There was a fellow who had the cell opposite mine,” he recently told Mrs. Hale. “He was in for life. He was an awful nice guy. All the time he was worrying. He had a wife and seven kids and all the time he was stewing about them. So he spoke to the man from the remission service when he came around about getting out. That’s a cock-eyed thing to do because you only get discouraged. The remission man said, ‘There’s no use you coming to see me until you spend at least twenty years.’ He said it blunt like that. Well, that night he hung himself in his cell. I saw them carrying him out. I’ll never forget it.

“People on the outside don’t know what it’s like to be really discouraged.” *