Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Time served for scarring friend's face

An 18-year-old Arborg woman who disfigured a friend’s face with a broken beer bottle was sentenced Thursday to 14 months time served.
Kara Stoyanowski previously pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and two counts of breaching a recognizance in connection with the May 3, 2009 attack.
The 21-year-old victim “will bear the marks of this for the rest of her life,” said Crown attorney Adam Bergen. “Unlike a scar in a less visible place ... it will be the first thing that people notice about her for the rest of her life.”
Court heard Stoyanowski was at a drinking party at the Arborg trailer park when an argument over Stoyanowski’s boyfriend turned into a shoving match with the 21-year-old victim.
Stoyanowski broke a beer bottle over the woman’s head, knocking her to the ground. She then slashed her face and shoulder with the broken bottle.
The woman was taken to Arborg hospital and quickly transferred to Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg for plastic surgery. According to a doctor’s report, the woman’s facial wounds cut through the muscle, nearly to the bone. She suffers ongoing nerve damage and will require further plastic surgery, court heard.
Stoyanowski was released on bail following the attack but returned to custody after she was caught breaking her curfew and drinking.
According to a pre-sentence report, the victim at one time was Stoyanowski’s “best friend.” Judge Bob Heinrichs sentenced Stoyanowski to an additional two years supervised probation and ordered that she participate in victim offender mediation.
“If that is true, that (the victim) was once your best friend, that’s an opportunity to try and repair some of the damage you’ve done, emotionally at least,” Heinrichs said.

I think this article is well written for the first part. However, it seems to be missing more details of the events leading up to the attack, if the victim provoked the offender, and what factors of the offender's life may have influenced this crime (addictions, etc.) and whether she was a first time offender or not. By not including this information, leads ppl to the conclusion that this was a senseless and violent attack, when there may have been factors leading up to it. By only focusing on the violent aspects of this crime, brings readers to the impression and perception that this sentence was too lenient, when really it wasn't as she had already spent 14 months in prison. This article does not explore many mitigating factors, influencing the judge's decision such as remorse, etc.

I do agree with the sentence of time served. I think that the victim/offender mediation is a great idea and hope it is helpful for this woman. I'm glad the judge focused more on rehabilitation in this case and not on further imprisonment. 

I do agree that it was the right decision in taking her into custody for breaching her bail conditions, to protect others' safety.  

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