This ruling comes as no surprise to me. Only the most severe opponents of considering extenuating circumstances in criminal judgments, those who demand personal accountability for everyone's actions, could have a problem with this. Even the Prosecutor agrees.
"This was justice because the correct conclusion was reached," prosecutor Joyce Dalmyn said, according to CBC. "Mr. Li is a schizophrenic. Mr. Li had a severe mental disease. Mr. Li, in my opinion and in the opinion of the psychiatrists, had no idea what he was doing was wrong."Naturally, the Canadian Mental Health Association agrees with the Prosecutor.
Why do people have a problem with this? Is it the use of the word "victim" in reference to the offender? Do people think we somehow disrespect the real victim by recognizing that the criminal is also one? Or is it that assessment business? Is it the fact that he may be released from the mental hospital sooner than he would from a prison? I really don't see why that should be the case. Wouldn't a panel of psychiatrists in the State mental hospital be able to come to the same conclusions about Charles Manson that his Parole Board does each time they meet, as an example?
"Mr. Li is also a victim here," said Ruth Ann Craig of the Canadian Mental Health Association, according to CBC. "What's going to happen to Mr. Li is not a cakewalk."
He will be housed in a locked psychiatric ward, Craig said, while he undergoes assessment and treatment to determine whether he is a risk to himself or society.
The point is, mentally ill people belong in hospitals not prisons. The decisions pertaining to the length of stay are another matter altogether, in some cases to be determined later.
What's your opinion? Would you rather see Mr. Li spend the rest of his life in prison? Do you think the Canadians are any better at handling this than we are in the States?
I was fascinated again reading that none of the other 34 passengers did anything to stop this. What do you think about that? Most men are reluctant to admit that when faced with a situation that cries out for intervention, they might hesitate, or cower. I'm able to admit that, if I had been one of the other passengers, and if I had seen this knife-wielding maniac attack his seatmate, I honestly don't know for sure what my reaction would have been. Probably I would have been with the crowd, slinking away in fear and shock and regretting it later. What about you?
Is this why people support carrying guns? Is this an example of how people need to be armed in order to overcome their fears and do the right thing? Or perhaps the typical concealed-carry guy is not the type who would slink away. Perhaps the guys who support guns are already able to overcome these fears, even without those gun. What do you think?
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