WEDNESDAY, December 12, 2007
It's time to get on the soap-box again. This week there have been several trial events that have had country-wide (if not world-wide) attention. After ten months of grueling trial, some of the details of which were too gruesome to comprehend, the infamous serial killer, Willie Pickton, was finally sentenced: life on each of six counts of second degree murder, with no chance of appeal for parole for 25 years. He still has to face 20 more counts of murder so it seems very certain he'll never walk free again in his lifetime.
The police, and others including victim's families were disappointed as there were many pages of evidence unadmissible to the court in order for a 'fair' trial, he was only found guilty of 'second degree' murder (because the jury couldn't find proof for intent to kill).
Unfortunately, some of that unadmissible evidence may have swayed the decision. The day after the sentencing, the newspapers ran copies of letters Pickton had written to a pen-pale in which he states that "God put him on earth to rid the world of evil doers..." At any rate, most people feel it is certain he was not in on this alone and it's just unfortunate the police could never pin anything on the other culprits -- namely his brother. The whole things has been a hideous tragedy, and yesterday when the families read their victim's impact statements, the were lots of tears, as well as rejoicing for justice done on behalf of the victims. Pickton had nothing to say. Witnesses described him as 'dead', stone cold, icy and unemotional. His defence lawyer wouldn't let him speak in court. And, strangely, there didn't seem to any sign of his 'supporters', including his brother or other family members. Was 'justice' really done if these other suspects are never called into account?
The same day, another court room scene unfolded with the sentencing of two youths (part of a trio) who attacked another youth, beat him, sprayed him with pepper spray and took an ax to him, rendering him a quadriplegic for life. They were tried as 'adult's rather 'youth' but still, the one lout got only 3 years less 1 year already served and the other got 20 months of community service and house arrest. This kid was smirking and laughing the courtroom so now there is to be an inquiry into the lenient sentencing. The mother of the victim was angry, as can be well expected. Her son is suffering and incapacitated for life and these thugs get away with it. The third one is due to be sentenced later this week and lets hope they throw the book at him -- as they should have with these two. Is this 'justice'?
Then there's the arrogant S.O.B. Conrad Black who still refuses to admit any wrong after bilking millions from investors and walks away with a mere 6 years prison term. His team of high-paid defense lawyers claim they'll appeal and get him off with an even lighter sentence. Money talks, obviously. And certainly there are a lot of his 'victim's' who will cry 'injustice' here.
Sometimes it makes you wonder, about our court system. In all three cases it seems that the victims were let down although at least Pickton will never go free again. It's just hoped that the next long trial, for the 20 other victims, will go ahead as planned. These women deserve justice.