Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"out, damn'd spot!"

Of all the shortcomings of our modern justice system, the insanity plea has got to be the most damning. Individuals can be acquitted for murder if they can prove that they lack criminal responsibility, which in the case of Vincent Li, is being done through the insanity plea. Li admitted in his trial that he thought he was being guided by the voice of God, who told him to stab, decapitate, butcher, and cannibalize Tim McLean. This horrific act captured the attention of Canadian media, and shocked us to the core that such atrocity could happen in the back of a Greyhound bus.

Yet desbpite the brutality of the murder and the suffering of the victim, Li is now pleading not guilty by reason of insanity, and will most likely be found as such due to his schizophrenia. I do not care whether he was guided by God, hearing voices, seeing halluinations, or in any way otherwise crazy. He did what he did, and deserves to be punished on an equal scale with others who have committed such atrocities. Robert Pickton, who butchered innumerable women on his farm, committed terrible atrocities, the likes of which a typical person would consider crazy. Yet he is facing time as a sane person.

To me, arguing that an individual is not guilty by reason of insanity opens the door to a whole myriad of opportunites for individuals to excuse and justify their crimes. How long will it be before a religious fanatic is let off for murdering a non-beleiver and then claiming that they were acting on God's orders and are thereby insane?

By choosing to live in Canadian society, every single citizen is agreeing to abide by the laws and regulations that govern it. As such, they should be liable and responsible for any action done by them while they are a part of that society. No one should be exempt from justice, no matter how much they may dislike serving that justice. If Li resumes a place in society at any point in his life, I feel it is only a matter of time before he snaps once again, and who knows what other atrocity he will then commit. He deserves to spend the rest of his life locked up with others of his kind; cold-blooded murderers like Robert Pickton and Paul Bernardo.

1 comment:

  1. I agree completely. Although, since when did killing, stabbing or maiming someone become deemed sane in the first place?