Friday, 28 February 2014

How  long  should  a  multiple  murderer  be  in  prison?                  
This question only applies to cases where the death penalty doesn’t apply.
Many years ago, a man in the United States killed three people. He was sentenced to prison for 500 years for each murder and the sentences were to run consecutively. He appealed on the grounds that a consecutive sentence of 1,500 years was ridiculous. The appeal court agreed and increased the sentences to 3,000 years. The court said it was the intention of the State that he was to never get out of prison while he was still alive.  Now I agree that a sentence that great is pointless but it does send a message that the courts that sentenced him felt that his crimes were so horrible, the only way that the courts could express their condemnation of the man who killed these people was to sentence him to such a sentence.
Matthew Taby, a South Florida man charged with 200 counts of child pornography felonies could be facing more than 3,000 years in jail. He was arrested in May 2012 after being found with more than 1,000 images and videos of children engaged in sexual activities on an external hard drive. I couldn’t find out what sentence he actually received.
A year ago, Peter Mallory, a former South Georgia television station owner was sentenced to 1,000 years in prison after being convicted of child sexual exploitation charges. The man was arrested in 2011 after police searched his home and office and found child pornography stored on computer hard drives. Now that is a ridiculous sentence.
Compare Mallory’s sentence with that of a Wisconsin man, Bradley Carver, 56, who was sentenced to three years imprisonment after pleading no contest to the five counts of possession of child pornography in November 2012. Carver was also ordered to serve seven years on extended supervision following his release from prison. Three years in prison is an appropriate sentence in that case.
Matthew David Slinkard, 30, was sentenced to 22 years in prison for possession of child pornography and he was also was ordered by U.S. Chief District Judge Gregory Frizzell to be under court supervision for 15 years after his eventual release from federal prison.
A British man who admitted planning to kidnap, torture and eat at least one child using a sound-proofed dungeon he built in his home in Massachusetts was sentenced to nearly 27 years in U.S. prison last September.  That was also an appropriate sentence since the man is obviously a great danger to society.                             
I mentioned the aforementioned sentences to give you some idea of what kinds of sentences are given in the United States.
Now I will return you to prison sentences for multiple murders. (mass and serial murders)
Zakkawanda Moss a Tennessee man convicted of killing six people was sentenced to six consecutive life terms in prison last month. The six people, including an unborn child and a toddler, were stomped, beaten, shot and some were drowned.
Now compare that sentence to one that was awarded to a mass killer in Norway. Anders Behring Breivik, the man charged with killing 77 people in Norway last year, was found sane and sentenced to prison for at least 21 years. That comes to approximately 3½years for each person he murdered. That doesn’t seem fair to me at all.  
Pedro Alonzo Lopez, the ‘monster of the Andes’, who raped and strangled at least 350 young girls in Ecuador, Peru and Columbia, was released from prison after serving only 2o years in a Peruvian prison. He was taken secretly to Columbia and released because there is no death penalty in Ecuador. He was found guilty of murdering 110 young girls in Ecuador alone and confessed to a further 240 murders of missing girls in neighboring Peru and Columbia. Lopez was taken into custody in Columbia and a court found him not guilty by reason of insanity. He was placed in a mental hospital and released two years later after being declared cured. He was to see a judge once a month, but after his release, Lopez took off and hasn't been seen since. He is probably back in Ecuador which has become a training ground for serial killers who know all that they have to face is a maximum of 20 years in prison.      

Now I want to tell you about some multiple murderers in Canada.

Clifford Olsen
This man was a convicted Canadian serial killer who confessed to murdering 11 people between the ages of nine and 18 years in the early 1980s. Here they are;
Christine Weller, 12, from Surrey, British Columbia was abducted on November 17, 1980. Her body was found more than a month later on Christmas Day; she had been strangled with a belt and stabbed repeatedly. On April 16, 1981, Colleen Marian Daignault, 13, vanished. Five months later her body was found. On April 22, 1981, Daryn Todd Johnsrude, 16, was abducted and killed; his body was found less than two weeks later. On May 19, 1981, 16-year-old Sandra Wolfsteiner was murdered, and 13-year-old Ada Anita Court was murdered in June 1981.
Six more victims followed in quick succession in July 1981. Simon Partington, nine, was abducted, raped and strangled on the second day of the month. Judy Kozma, a 14-year old from New Westminster, was raped and strangled a week later. Her body was discovered on July 25 near Weaver Lake. The next victims were Raymond King Jr., 15, abducted on July 23, raped and bludgeoned to death; Sigrun Arnd, an 18-year old German tourist, raped and bludgeoned two days later; Terri Lyn Carson, 15, raped and strangled on July 27; and Louise Chartrand, age 17, the last victim identified, who died on July 30, 2013.
If Canada still had the death penalty on its books, this fiend would have been executed but when capital punishment was abolished in Canada, the penalty for murder then became 25 years to life. Can you believe it? He actually had the audacity to ask for parole after serving only 15 years in prison. Naturally he was turned down. If fact he was turned down every time he applied for parole and finally he died in prison at age 71 on September 30, 2011 after serving 30 years in prison.

Paul Bernardo
This man is a Canadian serial killer and rapist, known for the highly publicized sexual assaults and murders he committed with his wife Karla Homolka (another evil person) and the serial rapes he committed in Scarborough, a district in Toronto. It was established that he raped at least 11 young girls and women in Scarborough. However his raping didn’t end there.
When he and his wife moved to St. Catharines which is across Lake Ontario from Toronto, he raped another two young women with the assistance of his evil wife.
Then on December 23, 1990, Bernardo and his wife drugged her sister and while she was unconscious, Bernardo raped her vaginally and anally and eventually the 15-year-old girl died. The official cause of Tammy Homolka's death was accidental—choking on her vomit after consumption of alcohol despite the fact that there were chemical burns on her face which were ignored by the coroner.
Early in the morning on June 15, 1991, Bernardo took a detour through Burlington, halfway between Toronto and St. Catharines, to steal licence plates. He found Leslie Mahaffy. The 14-year-old had missed her curfew after attending a funeral, was locked out of her house and had been unable to find anyone with whom she could stay overnight. At that time, Bernardo left his car and appraised his next victim. Bernardo approached her and said he wanted to break into a neighbour's house. Unfazed, she asked if he had any cigarettes. As Bernardo led her to his car he blindfolded her, forced her into the vehicle and drove her to Port Dalhousie, where he informed Homolka, his wife that they had a playmate. Bernardo and Homolka subsequently videotaped themselves torturing and sexually abusing Mahaffy.
The assaults escalated. Mahaffy cried out in pain and begged Bernardo to stop. In the Crown description of the scene, he was sodomizing her while her hands were bound with twine. Later Mahaffy told Bernardo that her blindfold seemed to be slipping, an ominous development as it signaled the possibility that she might be able to identify both her tormentors if permitted to live. The following day, Bernardo claimed, Homolka fed her a lethal dose of Halcion. Homolka claimed that, instead, Bernardo strangled her. The pair put her body in their basement. In any case, they were both responsible for the girl’s death.
Bernardo and Homolka decided the best way to dispose of the evidence would be to dismember the dead girl and encase each piece of her remains in cement. Bernardo bought a dozen bags of cement at a hardware store the following day. He kept the receipts which would prove damaging at his trial. Bernardo used his grandfather's circular saw to cut the body. Bernardo and Homolka then made numerous trips to dump the cement blocks in Lake Gibson, 18 kilometers south of Port Dalhousie. At least one of the blocks weighed 90 kg (200 pounds) and didn’t sink. It rested near the shore, where a father and son on a fishing expedition discovered it on June 29, 1991. Leslie Mahaffy's orthodontic appliance proved instrumental in identifying her.
On the afternoon of April 16, 1992, Bernardo and Homolka were driving through St. Catharines to look for potential victims. It was after school hours on the day before Good Friday. Students were still going home but by and large the streets were empty. As they passed Holy Cross Secondary School, a main Catholic high school in the city's north end, they spotted Kristen French, a 15-year-old student, walking briskly to her nearby home. The couple pulled into the parking lot of nearby Grace Lutheran Church and Homolka got out of the car, map in hand, pretending to need assistance.
As French looked at the map, Bernardo attacked from behind, brandishing a knife and forcing her into the front seat of their car. From her back seat, Homolka controlled the girl by pulling down on her hair.
French had taken the same route home every day, taking about 15 minutes to get home in order to attend to her dog's needs. Soon after she should have arrived, her parents became convinced that she had met with foul play and notified police. Within 24 hours, Niagara Regional Police had assembled a team and searched the area along her route and found several witnesses who had seen the abduction from different locations, thus giving police a fairly clear picture. In addition, one of Kristen's shoes, recovered from the parking lot, underscored the seriousness of the abduction.
Over the three days of Easter weekend, Bernardo and Homolka videotaped themselves as they tortured, raped and sodomized Kristen French, forcing her to drink large amounts of alcohol and to behave submissively to Bernardo. At Bernardo's trial, Crown prosecutor Ray Houlahan said that Bernardo always intended to kill her because she was never blindfolded and was capable of identifying her captors.
On April 19, 1992, the couple murdered French before going to the Homolkas’ family home for Easter dinner. Homolka testified at her trial that Bernardo had strangled French for exactly seven minutes while she watched. Bernardo said Homolka beat her with a rubber mallet because she had tried to escape and that French ended up being strangled on a noose tied around her neck secured to a hope chest. In any case, they were both responsible for the girl’s death. French's nude body was found in a ditch on April 30, 1992 in Burlington, approximately 45 minutes from St. Catharines, and a short distance from the cemetery where Leslie Mahaffy is buried.
Bernardo was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in prison. He is serving his time in solitary confinement; not as punishment but because the inmates would kill him if he was placed in the general population of the prison.  In my opinion, he probably will never, ever be released from prison.
His evil wife was only sentenced to 12 years because of a police screw up. Apparently, they didn’t find a hidden video showing her role in the murders until after she was sentenced.  When she was released after serving the 12 years in prison, she moved out of the country and got married again. If the police hadn’t screwed up, she would still be in prison and like her husband, be there for the rest of her life.

David Shearing
This man stalked and murdered six members of the Johnson and Bentley families while they were camping in Wells Gray Park in 1982. Shearing, who was 23 at the time, watched the family, and acting on sexual fantasies, fatally shot the four adults and then kidnapped the two young girls of one of the families. He sexually assaulted the girls for days before shooting both of them in the head.
Shearing pleaded guilty to six counts of murder on April 6, 1984 and was sentenced to six concurrent life terms with no possibility for parole until he has served 25 years in prison. In 2008, he applied for parole and was turned down and in 2010, he was turned down again. He can reapply every two years for parole but it is highly unlikely that he will ever be released from prison. 

Steven LeClair
In September, 1980, angry at being thrown out of Downtown Vancouver’s Palace Hotel tavern, 34-year-old Steven LeClair got his handgun, returned to the establishment and began firing indiscriminately. Within seconds, pub manager Anthony Dutkiewicz, 50, waiter James McDonald, 35, and patron Frieda Kradepohl, 72, lay dying and two more lay wounded. LeClair then walked into the street, hijacked a car, and ordered the driver to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police headquarters, in Richmond, British Columbia where he shot and killed the front desk officer, Constable, Tom Agar, 26, and wounded another officer before he was taken into custody. He was convicted of the murders and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole until he has served a minimum of 25 years in prison.
But at the end of January 2014, after 34 years that his rampage occurred, LeClair is finally getting his first taste of freedom. The Parole Board of Canada acknowledged that it cannot be sure the 68-year-old will not reoffend, but it deemed it safe enough to grant him 72 hours of freedom per month to shop, go to the movies and be with his wife, whom he appears to have met from prison via a personal ad.
Quite frankly, I find that decision outrageous. This convicted mass murderer killed four human beings and still no one, including the National Parole Board can ascertain whether or not he is still a danger to society.
In the last three years, the federal Government of Canada has eliminated the much-maligned long-standing loophole that allowed murderers to rack up multiple victims without adding to their sentence. Now they can be sentenced to twenty years in prison for each murder they commit and the sentences are to be served one after the other.  Unfortunately, this new law won’t apply to any murderers who were convicted of murder prior to when the law was passed.

Travis Baumgartner
This man was an armoured car guard who coolly shot to death four colleagues in a 2012 robbery. At Baumgartner’s September, 2013, sentencing, the Alberta judge used the new Act to put the multiple-murderer behind bars for a minimum of 40 years.
In 1980, I addressed a UN crime conference in Caracas, Venezuela in which one of the main topics being discussed by the several thousand delegates from over a hundred nations was the matter of capital punishment. In my speech, I recommended life in prison without the hope of parole as an alternative to capital punishment. Within a year of my speech, many of the States in the US abolished capital punishment and replaced that penalty with natural life in prison. I had hope that my own country (Canada) would follow suit but alas that didn’t happen. At long last, the federal government of Canada has done the next best thing by at least making mass and serial murders serve at least 40 years in prison if they kill more than one person. And after they have served 40 years, they may never be released unless of course the National Parole Board by then is as soft-headed as the ones that sanctioned the temporary release of LeClair.
Just last April, the government backed a Manitoba MP’s private member’s bill that will bring about 40-year minimum sentences to those guilty of the triple crime of abduction, rape and murder. Until it is passed by Parliament, anyone convicted of those three crimes relating to one event will not be subjected to the 40-year minimum. The Canadian authorities have finally come to their senses. Twenty years imprisonment for each of two murders is better than a minimum of twenty-five years for two murders. However, I would prefer to see twenty years to be served consecutively for every murder; be it two, three or more murders. 
Recidivism rates among paroled murderers are, arguably, low. A 2012 Correctional Service of Canada study looked at 1,129 ‘lifers’ released between 1995 and 2005 and found that only 3.5% committed any kind of re-offence. I remember however talking with a man who served nine years in prison for killing his girlfriend and her other boyfriend. After he was released, I asked him if he had any regrets. He said that he had none at all.   
Many years ago, there was a man living in the Province of Quebec in Canada who raped and murdered two young boys. He was sentenced to hang. He was reprieved and his sentence then became life in prison. Alas, he was eventually released back into society. He then raped and murdered two more young boys. He was then again sentenced to life in prison. Many people dreaded the possibility that he would be again released and kill more young boys. Their fears were unnecessary. He himself was later murdered by some of the inmates in the prison.
Society would be better off if LeClair and Baumgartner were each sentenced to 80 years in prison. With respect to David Shearing, he should be serving 100 years in prison. Naturally they would not actually serve those sentences since they will die of old age first. And they should die of old age in prison and not in some fancy retirement home.
To take a human life for the purpose of fulfilling greed or for the purpose of ravishing a victim is the epitome of sin and although a priest may very well offer the murderer absolution, we as a society do not have to do so. Murderers never pardon their victims and we as a society should never pardon them for the murders they committed.

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