Why should the punishment for the same crime be different based on a completely subjective view of the offenders state of mind?
If we accept that there is an element of cruelty to locking people away, and accept that it’s cruel for innocent people to be killed, then we must also accept that there will always be an element of cruelty in the justice system, and that there is no way around it.
After all, if we don’t lock dangerous people away, innocent people will be killed.
And if we take action to protect innocent people, that will entail locking more people away – at least until we reach some sort of hypothetical utopian society where crime isn’t a problem (good luck with that).
This is the cruel reality of living in an imperfect world. We can either ignore it, or accept it.
And as we are seeing across our nation, ignoring it just makes things worse.
With all of this in mind, it’s time to start a conversation about ending the use of “not criminally responsible” as an excuse for the most violent crimes.
We remember the horrific attack on a Greyhound bus in Manitoba, when the assailant was found not criminally responsible for murdering and then eating parts of the body of an innocent man.
The assailant had schizophrenia, and as a result was jailed – and then later released.
Here’s the thing.
If the assailant did not have a diagnosed mental problem, they would have been found criminally responsible and would almost certainly still be in jail.
This makes absolutely no sense.
Doesn’t it stand to reason that anyone who murders and then eats part of another innocent human being has a severe mental problem?
Further, how can the assailant not have been considered responsible?
Did someone else commit the crime?
Did another ‘mind’ do it?
No, it was that one assailant, with one mind.
The use of ‘not criminally responsible’ has literally turned into a get-out-of-jail free card for those who commit violent acts, making it easier for them to get back out in public.
And this often has tragic consequences:
“A Quebec man accused of killing a provincial police officer had a history of mental health issues and had been found not criminally responsible at least five times for past offences.
Isaac Brouillard Lessard, 35, was shot dead by police after he allegedly fatally attacked Sgt. Maureen Breau on Monday evening and left her partner injured in Louiseville, Que., about 100 kilometres northeast of Montreal.
Brouillard Lessard had been followed closely by Quebec’s mental health review board, called Commission d’examen des troubles mentaux du Québec, composed of health experts who assess the risks posed by people found by courts to be not criminally responsible — or legally insane at the time they committed a crime.”
A subjective illusion
The problem here is that we are allowing a subjective illusion to dictate real-world events.
Whether someone is insane or not is subjective, yet it is being applied in a way that somehow makes the same action magically different, which then leads to dangerous people being let back out in public.
If someone is so screwed up that they are repeatedly found criminally insane, then they should be locked up.
Again, I shouldn’t even have to say this. It’s the most basic common-sense. The fact that I have to say it, and the fact that we have to fight against such irrational and absurd ‘justice system’ policies is an indictment of our society and our government.
We need to get back to basics, and end the ‘not criminally responsible’ excuse for violent crimes.
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