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.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Man pleads guilty to manslaughter charge

RICHARD Poynting took a knife to a stick fight -- and now the Winnipeg man is a convicted killer facing a lengthy prison term.

Poynting, 23, pleaded guilty to manslaughter Tuesday for the May 2009 stabbing death of 36-year-old Grady Monias. The victim was killed in a back alley in the 100 block of Prince Edward Street after lunging at Poynting with a tree branch, only to be stabbed in the back.

Crown attorney John Barr is seeking a 10-year sentence for Poynting, who was originally charged with second-degree murder but agreed to admit responsibility to the lesser charge. Poynting is seeking a four-year stint behind bars.
Defence lawyer Evan Roitenberg said his client feared for his safety but over-reacted to the threat by stabbing Monias.

"It was obviously unplanned, obviously spur of the moment. The results were tragic," said Roitenberg. Poynting and Monias had spent the evening drinking at a nearby house party, only to get into a verbal argument that turned violent, court was told.
Barr said the Crown accepted the plea to manslaughter because of the apparent intoxication and self-defence elements present in the case. Provincial court Judge Carena Roller has reserved her decision until later this month.

The mitigating factors in this case are intoxication, provocation/self-defence and that the attack was unplanned. The victim lunged at the accused and he had a right to fear for his safety. He did over-react, but in the moment, he wasn't thinking about his actions or the consequences. I would like to know if he had a prior record and any other mitigating circumstances in his life. 

I hate the Free Press headline, labeling this man as a "killer." That carries a negative connotation and this man acted out of self-defence, he is not a cold blooded killer. Ever heard of the labeling theory Mike McIntyre? Betcha not! 

I would sentence this man (notice I am not labeling him a killer), to a 2 year conditional sentence, because of the mitigating factors surrounding this case. This was an impulsive act and one based on self-defence, and I do not believe that this man is dangerous to society or needs to be incarcerated to protect the public. He should be given a conditional sentence with anger management programming, substance abuse programming, counseling, and violence prevention.  

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