Wednesday 21 October 2009

The murderer has no grounds for an appeal

Melissa Todorovic, 17, who is is arguably a psychopath, or sociopath, was handed a life sentence for orchestrating the stabbing death of Toronto teen, Stefanie Rengel, 14, has filed for an appeal of her first-degree murder conviction and sentence. Todorovic, who was just shy of her 16th birthday at the time of the 2008 killing, was convicted of first-degree murder and given an adult sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole for seven years.

In appealing the decision, Todorovic’s lawyer claims her sentence was ‘unreasonable and excessive’ and that the verdict was unreasonable and ‘based on an error of law’ and that Ontario Justice Ian Nordheimer erred in admitting certain evidence and in passing an adult sentence on her.

I don’t know what error of law the judge committed since I wasn’t at the trial but the verdict was reasonable and the sentence was in accordance with the current law in Canada although I think the girl should have got much more than what she got.

Let me give you the background of what this monster did.

Todorovic mistakenly viewed Stephanie Rengel, 14, (who had been in a brief and non-sexual relationship with David Bagshaw who was her killer when she was 12) as her romantic rival. By demanding, via sexual blackmail the death of her perceived rival, she talked her boyfriend into knifing the girl to death. Rengel was lured from her home on New Year's Day, 2008 by Todorovic's then 17-year-old boyfriend, David Bagshaw, who pleaded guilty to stabbing the 14-year-old girl. Bagshaw went to Rengel's home the night of the murder and lured her outside, then stabbed her six times with an eight-inch kitchen knife and left her to die in a snow bank close to her home. Bagshaw, now 19, was sentenced as an adult and he must serve 10 years in prison before he can apply for parole.

The judge described Todorovic as the ‘puppet master’ in the murder and gave her the maximum sentence for first-degree murder committed by someone under 16 at the time of the offence. Todorovic engaged in an unrelenting campaign over many months to cause the death of a 14-year-old girl that she had never met. She placed relentless pressure on Bagshaw through instant messages, text messages and Facebook messages threatening to withhold sex from him if he didn't kill Rengel.

He disposed of the knife and his bloodstained jacket at a friend's house, phoned Todorovic to "report the success of his mission," then went to her house to collect his "reward" – sex.

This crime was not the unintended consequence of typical teenage psychodrama with a contemporary cyber twist: instead it was girl meets boy, girl seduces boy into murder, girl and boy plot killing online, girl rewards boy with sex after victim is murdered by boy. It was sinister and calculated. But being psychopathic meets neither the legal nor psychiatric threshold of insanity. Psychopathic killers are not necessarily insane; they are however evil.

Robert Hare, a renowned expert in the field and professor emeritus of psychology at the University of British Columbia, explains in his book Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us. “Their acts result not from a deranged mind but from a cold, calculating rationality combined with a chilling inability to treat others as thinking, feeling human beings. Such morally incomprehensible behaviour, exhibited by a seemingly normal person, leaves us feeling bewildered and helpless. They are utterly logical, to their own way of thinking, and don't see where they need to be cured even if that were possible.”

Nobody really has much of a clue how psychopaths are created so the ‘why’ question can't be answered.There is some evidence suggesting psychopaths are born that way, possibly due to a neurodevelopmental fritz in the cerebral cortex of their brains.
In plain-words; they are the bad seed. They emerge from the womb predisposed to amoral and unfeeling conduct and are reinforced in that no-limits attitude as they grow up.

Most of these people don't become killers. But they're all ruthless, which often makes them quite successful in their careers and frequently charismatic. Thy have no compunction about lying or seizing what they want or luring others to engage in dangerous ventures. We all know of such people, especially those who fraudulently steal millions from their victims who put their trust in these psychopaths. Here's the truly frightening part: It's estimated that 4 per cent of the population is psychopathic.

The Harvard psychologist Martha Stout writes, in The Sociopath Next Door: "About one in twenty-five individuals are sociopathic, meaning, essentially, that they do not have a conscience. It is not that this group fails to grasp the difference between good and bad; it is that the distinction fails to limit their behaviour. Without the slightest blip of guilt or remorse, one in twenty-five people can do anything at all.” In other words, they don’t give a damn what they do to others. Further: If they decide to kill, the only difficulties they will face will be external ones. Nothing inside of them will ever protest.

From the thousands of pages of retrieved MSN chats and Facebook postings that nailed this pyschopatic monster at trial, it was evident that she believed her obsession with Stefanie – a girl she'd never met – was entirely rational. Her wish to see Stefanie dead – allegedly stabbed by her stupid, sexually manipulated boyfriend, 17-year-old David Bagshaw, never struck the teen as being unconscionable. She didn't see Stefanie as a human being. Stefanie was an imagined threat and an annoyance and as such, she was someone who got under the skin of this monster and deserved to die.

There is just about a zero probability that this monster will emerge from prison a chastened woman. Being sentenced as an adult, she will be eligible for parole in less that seven years, as per the law, because the clock began ticking from the time that she was taken into custody at age 15. But being sentenced as an adult, she will at least have a criminal record that won't dissolve as it does for youths, five years after the sentence ends. She will always be formally branded a murderess, even if, for her, there is neither shame nor stigma in that.

As far as I am concerned, the sentence was far too light for both of them. They should have been sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in prison but unfortunately, our current law with respect to sentencing young offenders doesn’t permit this kind of justice for their victims and their families.

As to whether or not evidence was properly presented in court by the prosecutor, one thing that was presented and properly so was her text messages in which she said that her boyfriend wouldn’t get any sex from her unless he killed Stefanie Rengel. That evidence in my opinion, was sufficient to convict her.

1 comment:

CosyAnaconda said...

it is retarded to say that people are born evil. criminology has shown us that criminals become likely to commit a crime due to different factors like community, education, family enviorment etc. then again i find it difficult to believe that people are plain evil or if evil even excists. if you look at the animal kingdom evil does not excist, the things they do they do because they have to, are bored, something is in their way etc.
seeing that MT was suffering from issues were she hated her body and had a low self-image, then became threatened by someone because she didn't feel good enough. i also think this was something she did to see if her boyfriend really wanted her, and when he did she felt confident and whole.
Thing is she didn't do this because she was born evil or with a rotten brain, she had a reason. egos certainly does excist. i want to make it clear that i feel horrible for stefanie rengle and for her family, MT can very well be described as a monster - i simply disagree with what you say about being born evil.
i also think its weird that MT gets all the attention, DB was the person who actually got the 8 inch knife and stabbed the 14 year old, even though MT is described as the ''puppet master'' she still didnt have it in her to do it herself, i feel DB is more of a monster.