Thursday, May 28, 2009

Get out the Violin for Teen Murderers

It really doesn't matter how much the public is outraged by violent acts committed by teens, the justice system continues to apply slaps on the wrists to murders, rapists and robbers who commit the most heinous acts.
We are constantly lectured by those in the justice system that treating teenage criminals differently than adults leads to a higher success rate in terms of rehabilitation.

Here's a flash- WE DON'T CARE!
There, I said it.

I speak for the majority of citizens who believe that punishment is more important than rehabilitation.

When it comes to those who commit violent acts that impact the families of victims for life, we demand that perpetrators be held accountable.

Let the punishment fit the crime.
How is it that in Canada this concept has gone down the toilet?

For too long, our criminal justice system has been about the criminal, not about the victims and their families.
Yes, it's expensive to house inmates for long periods of detention, but it's no excuse not to do so. Compared to all the other crap we pay for, it's a bargain.

Families who suffer a grievous loss get closure and perhaps a level of grim satisfaction when the perpetrators are judged for their crime and the sentence reflects the severity of the act.

When that punishment is ridiculously small, what is the family left to believe?
That the murder of a beloved family member by a teen means nothing more than a three year sentence in a teen facility that's nothing more than a glorified camp.

In many cases, families of victims haven't even gotten over their initial grief, before the perpetrator is let out.

The three Montreal North teens who killed a Vietnamese grandmother will likely get off with the proverbial three year sentence. (In fact two of them will probably get less, because only one of them actually punched and kicked the victim.)

Family and friends mourn the loss of Kim Ngu
Lieu, murdered by 3 Montreal North teens.

According to an article in La Presse, where the young murderers are cast in a most sympathetic light;
  • They didn't do it on purpose and didn't plan to rob anyone, it just sort of happened.
  • They've never done this type of thing before (never been caught?) and it was an unfortunate act.
  • The victim was responsible for her injuries because she resisted. Had she given up her purse she still be alive.
  • Psychologist Hubert Van Gijseghem, quoted in the article, has already laid out a 'Twinkie' defense. According to him, young boys between 15 and 16 years of age suffer from impulsiveness because of a elevated testosterone level.'

While we don't suggest the teens be locked away for life, a maximum of three year is completely unacceptable.


  1. In this this case, I tend to agree with you. La Presse seem to take the youngsters side, which is really weird since the lady died, and they are clearly guilty. WTF?

    I do think excessive criminalization of young offenders is not a good idea, ususally it ends up making them permanently criminals. But we should not minimize the extent of their crime, as La Presse journalists and bloggers do. They end up blaming the victim, which at this point is simply disgusting.

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