“Gun Death” AAC

An old story that we covered here before. What happened after the trial?

On the evening of July 30, 2008, Tim was riding a Greyhound Canada bus on the Trans Canada Highway. A set of headphones over his ears, he fell asleep with his head resting against the bus window. Unbeknownst to Tim, the man sitting beside him had begun to experience a schizophrenic moment. That man was Li. The two men never spoke. There was no argument, no disagreement, and perhaps not even eye contact.

Twenty miles west of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Li pulled a knife and began to slash and hack Tim McLean. It was sudden. It was violent. The driver stopped and he and the 36 other passengers fled. So Li stabbed Tim and stabbed him again and then sawed off his head. In front of watching passengers and the responding Royal Canadian Mounted Police (whom he taunted through the closed doors of the bus), he began slicing off Tim’s body parts and chewing on them.

…A Canadian court determined that Li was too ill for confinement. Instead, Li just needed treatment. And recently, the Canadian Criminal Code Review Board, based on the recommendations of Li’s doctors, decided that Li was free to go about his business in public again. Go free. Rebuild his life.

Lead psychiatrist Dr. Steven Kremer testified that Li, a schizophrenic, has stopped experiencing delusions and is a model, non-violent patient. Instead of the supervised outings Li had been granted previously, he will be allowed unescorted trips from the Selkirk Mental Health Centre into the nearby city of Selkirk. Canada’s prosecutor, one Susan Helenchilde, said Li was cooperative and that “the Crown” did not object to Li’s unsupervised release. Of course, everyone wants Li to take his medicine to prevent future “schizophrenic episodes.”

Go nuts and murder somebody in cold blood, and you get to go free!!??? Talk about bad justice! There is literally NOTHING stopping this guy from going off his meds and acting out his twisted disillusions again.

Hey, but since it’s Canada, if he kills again, it still won’t be a “Gun Death”, so we’re all “Safer”!

H/T Archer

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5 Responses to “Gun Death” AAC

  1. GMC70 says:

    Is there any doubt that Li was indeed schizophrenic, and the killing was the result of a schizophrenic episode? If that is true, under any model of law, American or Canadian, a person is not legally responsible for acts they cannot control, any more than you are responsible for the wind blowing. That person may be committed to confinement and treatment as a danger to himself or others, of course, but that is not the same thing as legal responsibility. Commitment is not punishment. If punishment is deterrence (at least we hope it is), we don’t punish – because we cannot deter – what a person cannot control. It makes no more sense than to punish you for the wind blowing over your home.

    Further, if this person is at this point no longer a danger to himself or others, and it appears that those in the best position to determine that believes that is the case (there is no guarantee of that, of course, but there is no guarantee of that with anyone), by what authority would the State continue to keep him in custody? That authority only exists when it can be concluded that he continues to be an ongoing danger to himself or others.

    Would you have us remove him from clinical treatment to prison? By what authority? And what would that accomplish? How would that deter anything? You can’t deter the mentally ill.

    Remember – and I say this entirely seriously – we do NOT have a JUSTICE system. “Justice” is entirely subjective. We have a LEGAL system. They are not the same thing. Whether this is “justice” I’ll not say; I can’t even define what justice is. It appears to be, however, what the law requires. And that law’s first priority is, or should be, protecting the rights of everyone, and first of all, those charged with a crime or under the immediate control of the State. The State is always a greater threat to life and liberty than any individual. This is what the law requires. To do anything else is to grant the State the unilateral authority to punish arbitrarily. If they can to that to Li, they can do it to you. Or me.

    Remember – there are those out there who would happily load folks like you, as a gun guy and 2nd Am. supporter, into boxcars to reeducation camps because you are a “danger to yourself or others.” Our current president, unfortunately, is one of those. Do not give him the arbitrary authority to do so (and given his behavior, it wouldn’t take much – he claims the unilateral authority to kill American citizens without trial, without due process, if HE determines they are a threat. Yikes.).

    Law is the only thing separating us from arbitrary power. And arbitrary power will always be abused.

  2. Barrett says:

    I have come to believe that using prison as punishment or as a way to deter others is not a good reason to take the freedom of individuals. The only reason I can see for giving government the authority to lock individuals away from society is in order to protect society from those people who have proved beyond a reasonable doubt to be a danger. If punishment or deterrence is the goal, there are ways to go about that without stripping individuals of their freedom. Mr. Li proved himself a danger to others. That does not appear to be in question. His doctors claim that he is no longer a danger. Based upon what I read in the linked article, it appears that his rehabilitation is, wholly or in part, dependent upon medication.

    My thoughts on the issue are split in two directions dependent upon information that I couldn’t find in the article. That information being whether Mr. Li had been previously diagnosed and subsequently prescribed medication to control his episodes and if the hypothetical medication was simply insufficient or if he stopped taking it.

    If Mr. Li was undiagnosed or was taking prescribed medication that was simply unable to control his episodes, then I would say he and his doctors deserve the benefit of the doubt that he may no longer be a danger to society. If he had been previously diagnosed and stopped taking medication that was controlling his episodes, then he has proven that he cannot be trusted to continue the current treatment that his doctors believe has his episodes under control and, with that in mind, he should be separated from society for the benefit of society unless and until such time as a treatment is created that does not rely on his voluntary use of medication.

    • Geodkyt says:

      Barret,

      Your last paragraph sums it up exactly. Maybe he was undiagnosed, or on the *wrong* meds. In which case, getting him on the right meds ends the danger. . . so long as he is on them.

      Now, if he was noncompliant (either in refusing treatment at all after diagnosis, or in stopping treatment “because he doesn;t like how the pills make him feel”, then he’s too dangerous to be trusted walking free. Unfortunately, schizophrenics are notoriously noncompliant in treatment, becuase the effective meds DO make them feel like zombies in severe cases.

  3. Jack/OH says:

    Whew! Mike attacks Sue. Sue successfully and lawfully defends with a firearm by injuring or killing Mike. Further investigation reveals Mike was a schizophrenic, and the attack is believed by the authorities to have resulted from a schizophrenic episode. Does Sue now face indictment because her assailant was not legally responsible for his actions?

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