Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Young Offenders

I got a serious case of the willies reading about a teenage, female multiple killer from Medicine Hat:
Over a year after she was sentenced for murdering her parents and brother, the girl, who was 12 at the time of the killings, will have her progress examined by Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Scott Brooker. The judge has ordered a yearly review of the girl’s treatment.

She is serving her sentence at Alberta Hospital Edmonton, where she is undergoing extensive rehabilitation and treatment in a $100,000-a-year program.

The girl’s October sentence review was adjourned pending more information.

The girl, identified as J.R. in court records, is doing well in therapy, but has a
"failure to internalize," a court heard last fall.

The punchline of the article:
The girl, now 15, was described in court as "seriously disturbed." She was given the maximum sentence allowed under the Youth Criminal Justice Act — six years in custody followed by four years of supervision. She will be free at age 22.

So, if she's still a psycho and is "failing to internalize" her murders, do they still let her walk? "Youth Offender" absolutists drive me crazy. Is there never an exception? Shouldn't she be locked up forever?

When I was in grade eight a kid got murdered by another kid in my neighborhood. A few years later the killer was walking the streets, unrepentant. Everybody knew who he was. It didn't seem right. I have no way of confirming it, but I believe he commited a violent crime again. If so, it didn't take a genius to see that coming.

I agree there needs to be a difference between adult, and youth punishment. But let's not be black and white about it. There has to be exceptions for murder, and potential violent re-offenders.


  1. The details of that case are extremely disturbing. It's terrible what happened to the parents but killing the little boy goes beyond disturbed. It's a real life Michael Myers. She should never walk the streets again.

  2. That's exactly what I thought! Michael Myers. At least Dr. Loomis had the sense to keep him locked up. He had to escape. They're going to let this one walk.

    That reminds me of this quote:

    Loomis- "You've fooled them, haven't you Michael? But not me."

  3. Justice in Canada is a joke. In England 200 years ago children were hanged for stealing bread. I think that is a little over board, but the pendulum has swung way too far in the other direction. A kid breaking a window, sure lets cut him a little slack. Murder should be life (until you die) in prison.
    Just last week they had a picture of that guy that killed someone while riding on a OC Transpo bus in Ottawa. The criminal wanted to steal the victim`s IPod. He was three months shy of age 18, but got an adult sentence anyways. In seven years he will be able to get parole. Seven years for murder. How about seven feet of rope?
    Who is Michael Myers? I never heard this kid killed in the neighborhood story, how about some details.Great now you have me all creeped out.

  4. Michael Myers is the killer in the Halloween movies. As a boy he butchred his sister and her boyfriend. Loomis was his shrink at the mental institution. It's a pretty common pop culture reference.

    A kid, was killed who attended Greenbank. (I went to Catholic school, so didn't know him.)His murderer was set free. You would see him around, he was even dating a girl who knew his past.

  5. Okay, I remember that movie. The guy drove a gray Ford station wagon, just like the one I drove. Everyone (except me) thought that was pretty funny.
    The most disturbing movie I have ever seen was the Texas Chain Saw Massacre. It was also based on a true story. I just can`t see how anyone would find that movie entertaining.

  6. I'll admit, Chain Saw is tough to watch but it and Halloween are the pillars of the genre.

    I have less of a stomach for the new horror flicks. I couldn't watch Hostel or the one with the backpackers in Australia. Unbearable.

  7. I have had tough time with the death penalty issue. However on these really sick cases, I just don`t see the point of keeping them alive. Cliff Olsen came up for a parole hearing a couple of years ago. He is still in jail (thank God), but imagine how the families of the victims feel. I say get out the rope for Olsen and Barnardo.

  8. I really HATE the idea of giving the state the power of taking someone's life. We give them enough power as it is. I also don't trust the judicial system when it comes to someone's guilt. Because of this I prefer a harsh life sentence in prison. And I mean harsh. Not a holiday inn and life imprisonment means locked up until you die. At least this way if by chance an innocent person gets convicted we have a chance to correct it. Still... for monsters like Olson and Bernardo it's awfully tempting to do away with them in the most severe manner.

  9. We can probably all agree where you have irrefutable evidence, you should have the death penalty. We know Olsen did it, he led the RCMP to bodies. Bernardo was on tape. Excecute them summarily.

    I'm squemish about handing down a capital sentence based on witness testimony, circumstantial evidence, etc. For that, yes, life with hard time. Just in case.