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.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Too early for Li to get fresh air? ABSURD! I completely disagree!

As disgusting as it is that Vincent Li has been granted ground passes to head outdoors and roam the unfenced grounds — escorted by a security guard and a nurse — at the Selkirk Mental Health Centre, it’s not surprising because it’s been predicted by everyone who objected to him being put there in the first place and not in prison.
What is surprising is the rush Li’s doctors and members of the Criminal Code Review Board are in to grant this killer some fresh air and recreation.
What a joke.
Manitobans are right to be shocked and outraged. Privileges like this after less than two years of incarceration and treatment? They forget this man committed a gruesome murder. He may be “better” but he’s not cured. It’s a moot point it’s only two 15-minute passes, it’s way too soon to gamble like this. A minimum of at least three or four years of continual progress should be documented before Li should leave the locked forensic unit and be taken outside.
Thursday the Review Board decided to follow a psychiatrist’s advice that Li was ready. He was set to begin these escorted walks June 7.
But Manitoba’s justice minister is having no part of it. Kudos to Andrew Swan for reacting swiftly to this decision.
He’s doing the only thing he can do, trying to delay this from happening.
Swan threw a wrench into the plans Thursday afternoon by saying Li’s escorted walks will not be granted until the health centre updates its security.
He’s asked the complex’s management to get cracking on it right away but nobody knows exactly what those upgrades will be or how long it will take.
Thanks to Swan we’ve been given a temporary reprieve but it won’t be enough.
Li was found not criminally responsible for Tim McLean’s death in March 2009 and his schizophrenic condition is to be analysed every year by his doctors.
Each year they will say he’s getting better arguing that because he’s staying on his medication he should get better and make progress year after year. A scary thought to think this is the beginning of a process that will see him out on the streets someday when those same doctors pronounce him fit.
As sick as it is to think about, until the feds follow-up on Carol de Delley’s fight to impose minimum sentences on those found not criminally responsible for killing someone, Li and those of his ilk stand a good chance of getting back on the streets, all because a doctor says they’re ready.
Talk about a mixed-up system.

This editorial disgusts me! I cannot believe the author thinks it is okay to deprive the mentally ill of their human rights and treat them in an uncivilized manner! That is revenge, not justice. Li is making progress in treatment and is on medications. He is in a completely different and improved mental state than he was two years ago, making him far less dangerous to anybody. There is absolutely no reason to deny him the right to go outside, supervised, other than revenge. Sunshine and fresh air would be beneficial to his treatment. Confinement in a locked ward can worsen one`s mental condition and can lead to depression. Li is not a criminal, he is a patient and he should not be treated worse than a prisoner. He needs to be treated in a humane manner with respect and dignity. Allowing him the right to go outside, supervised and while under medication, would not pose a risk to anybody! The public needs to stop dwelling on the horrific details of the murder, where Li`s actions were completely out of his control and unintentional and start focusing on what would be in society`s and Li`s best interests. If the review board felt that allowing Li to have supervised walks would pose a risk to the public, they would not have granted them! Clearly, since they did grant them, means they felt Li posed a minimal risk to the public. The review board`s decision should not be overruled by Swan, who is influenced by the ignorant and uneducated members of the public, rather than by reason and logic and facts. The review board is composed of educated and knowledgeable individuals in the area of mental illnesses and their decision should be trusted. 

All Manitobans are not outraged. Only the loudmouth, ignorant bumpkins are. And theydon't speak for me, or for the reasonably minded majority of citizens.
The stigma of mental illness obviously persists. The murder was gruesome and yes it is beyond tragic that Tim lost his life. But one can also feel compassion for Li. (two thoughts held at once in the mind - I know, a baffling concept rarely experienced by Sun readers) Li was severely mentally ill and was not acting of his own volition. It's disturbing to read such a depraved level of bloodlust and vengrance here, in the editorial and from a minister of the crown. it's disgusting and you all repulse me. The man is ill. Even the Nazis got fresh air at Nuremburg.15 minutes, get a grip.

If you agree that he's ill, why are you arguing for harsher punishment instead of better treatment and effective monitoring?

I don't want Li out, ever, because I'm pessimistic about his prognosis, but how is keeping him in a dark, dank cell going to help anybody?

Sober, evidence-based social policy, yes. Instinctive bestial vengeance, no.
Terrible? Good Grief! This is such a one sided article! I am outraged that the government and this paper speak on my behalf. "All Manitobans are outraged"? I'M NOT!

How many of you people out there that point fingers at Mr. Li have asthma (for example). How many of you stop taking your meds when you begin to feel better. Bet you were sorry you did.

Unfortunately, the outcome of this misuse of medication had a much more horrific outcome, but it is the same thing. Mr. Li was feeling better....his head told him that he didn't need them as much. He was wrong, but he HAS received the medical attention he needs to get well and stay well.

Do you not think that these doctors know what they are doing?

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