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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Her Rights are Our Rights

Karla Homolka

I suspect there are few people in Canada who do not know who Karla Homolka is.
She and her husband Paul Bernardo were convicted of the grizzly and unforgiveable sexual abuse and murders of three young women. Those who do not know the details of this sensational crime can read about it on the Crime Library Website , or read the factual summary in Wikipedia .

Homolka served her full twelve year sentence and has been released, but with restictions on her rights to privacy and association and movement. Recently, she was been in court to have these restrictions removed. We await the judges decision.

Her full citizen rights should be restored. She should not been seen as a special case. Here are the reasons.

1. She has served her full sentence and met her obligation to the courts and society. Some feel her sentence was too lenient that a "deal with the Devil" had been struck in her plea bargain. If you believe in the rule of law one must accept the decision of the court and law.

2. By serving her full sentence with no time off for good behaviour she actually served the time for a much longer sentence. Of course, those who criticize her sentence would not be satisfied with any length of sentence.

3. By keeping her under surveillance and with restrictions on her rights as a free person, Society is in effect continuing her sentence. Any such restriction should have been part of the original sentence with a clear end to them. As it turned out she should have recovered all her freedoms upon the completion of the sentence.

4. Karla Homolka did all she could in jail to rehabilitate herself. She earned a university degree, she learned a second language, she participated in many self development groups to bring about personality changes.

5. There is no evidence she is a psychopath and a dangerous person as some armchair psychologists have claimed. All the psychological evaluations supported this view. They did find that she suffered from "severe clinical depression", "battered spouse syndrome", and "post traumatic stress disorder". She has also expressed remorse for her crimes. Presumably, the self development courses she took dealt with these psychological problems.

6.She has earned the right to restore her life and to make a contribution to Society. She has been evaluated as "not a danger to society". Even if she were we should not tolerate the punishing of people for crimes they "might do". In our justice system, we are punished for crimes we commit. There are efforts to undermine this principle with such instruments as a "security certificate" and "being a member of a criminal organization".

7. If we continue to punish Karla Homolka by restricting her liberties we are establishing a situation that threatens all our freedom. If she can be treated the way she is, indefinitely, any one of us could have our liberties resticted.

A free society is a balance between personal liberty and communal security. It is a risk but I , for one, would support a society that errs on the side of personal liberty. If society establishes restictions on personal liberty to prevent, "what might happen", all our social and political liberties can be taken away. This is too high a price.

Justice demands that she be restored to full citizenship.

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At 6:09 p.m., Blogger Faith said...

I think Karla did "strike a deal with the devil" We all know her sentence would have been much different had those tapes, the damning evidence, been found a little earlier. I think she is a seriously ill person, and it's not like she had a bad time in prison (I've read articles about her "prison parties")

Maybe she has one knows, but it's hard for me to believe that she would have the ability to commit such crimes coldly, including those against her own sister, and then be "cured".
God knows best

At 8:28 p.m., Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Karla Homolka has not been evaluated as seriously mentally ill. If she had been she should have gone to a hospital for the criminally insane where she could have been held indefinitely.

She was tried as a criminal. She has a right to have her sentence end.


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