Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Remember the Canadian who beheaded a fellow on Greyhound?

Though this article is about a month old, I haven't seen it ere now, nor heard anything about the denouement of the case. So I'm posting it for your reading pleasure. Or for you to be thankful you don't live in Canada. Whichever.

Vince Li found not criminally responsible for beheading on Greyhound bus.

Well, I guess that's what we should expect from north of the border.

I don't question the fact that he was insane. What angers me is this:

He will be institutionalized without a criminal record and will be reassessed every year by a mental health review board to determine if he is fit for release into the community.

No criminal record? Possibility of being released after a year? BRILLIANT, Canada! I'm sure that will safeguard law abiding Canucks' safety, eh? (That wasn't a Canadian joke, by the way, just the proper interjection for the sentence.)

Unsurprisingly, the victim's family ain't too damn pleased either:

McLean’s family has dismissed the trial as a “rubber stamp” that is allowing Li to get away with murder. They are vowing to now turn their attention to fighting the law that allows people who are found not criminally responsible to be released into the community once they are deemed well without serving a minimum sentence in jail.

His mother seems confident that her son's death and the farcical trial will bring about changes in the Canadian criminal justice system. I pray that she's correct. The current standard (assuming that this is emblematic of the way Canada handles these things) is pathetic and unsafe. We've got two women here in Texas in the same mental institution for killing their kids. I forget their names, but they've apparently become friends. If they're found to be mentally competent, into prison they will go. As it should be. I realize this man was schizophrenic, but, well, there's medicine to help with that. Which he wasn't taking. My limit of sympathy for mental illness is reached the second someone is injured, let alone killed.

I don't think I need to spell out the folly of releasing this man with no criminal record and therefore most likely no follow-up, do I?


Murphy said...


Jay G said...

Andrea Yates is one of them.

I know. She murdered her kids the summer of 2001.

I was feeding my infant son a bottle when the story broke.

It's hard to hold a bottle steady when you are sobbing...

Johnny Canuck said...

You shouldn't blog about things that you don't understand.
First, Li will be reassessed every year. This means no definite term of incarceration, which means he will likely spend the rest of his life in an institution.
Second, he won't have a criminal record if released, but he will have a mental health record. In Canada, I would rather have the criminal record. They get treated better.
Yes, we do things differently in Canada. No, we don't want to be like Americans.

Sabra said...

Second, he won't have a criminal record if released, but he will have a mental health record. In Canada, I would rather have the criminal record. They get treated better.

Well, THAT makes much more sense! Of course people who are mentally ill should be treated worse than criminals. Shit, where do I sign up for the next trip north?

BeautifulWreck said...

Damn. No justice anywhere IMHO.

Jessica said...

I lived in Canada for several years. It always astounded me the way Canada is lenient on a lot of criminals that I felt should be locked away forever. And not just the mentally incompetent. Canada has less crime than the U.S. but that doesn't make Canadian victims less important.