Friday, October 10, 2008

Updates on Greyhound Attack, Lawsuit and a push for Capital Punishment

Greyhound responds to suit

WINNIPEG -- Accused killer Vince Li bears sole responsibility for the grisly death of Greyhound bus passenger Tim McLean, the bus line says in court documents filed last week.

In a statement of defence filed Oct. 6, Greyhound maintains it took all reasonable precautions to keep passengers safe.

"The injuries suffered by Tim McLean were caused solely by the sudden and unforeseeable actions of the defendant Vince Weiguang Li ... not by any breach of duty by (Greyhound)," says the statement of defence.
As much as I hate to say this because this has been such a tragic event and so difficult for the McLean family, but I have to. Greyhound is correct. The responsibility lies soley with the assailant. Though I am still left wondering about the RCMP role in this??

and then this also:

Victims mom wants capital punishment

WINNIPEG -- The mother of a young man beheaded on a Greyhound bus in July says Canada's most dangerous criminals should either be locked up forever or executed.

Carol deDelley says she's going to be pushing for legislation she's calling "Tim's Law" that would bring back capital punishment in cases where there is "no doubt" of guilt, or at least set the punishment at life with no chance of parole.

This is something that I cannot be in support of.

While I agree Vince Li, should have been taken down on the bus, and there is no question of his guilt in this case. The judicial system is , as a whole too corrupt to be sure that ONLY guilty people are put to death.

It seems in the haste to solve a crime, sometimes innocent people are targeted for convenience sake. Putting them to death would be a gross miscarriage of justice.

I'll cite some recent names Maher Arar, David Milgaard , Steven Truscott, I know of others, infamously found guilty and cleared later.

Here are some stats on this problem out of the US......

Death Penalty and Innocence

"Since 1973, more than 125 people have been released from death rows throughout the country due to evidence of their wrongful convictions. In 2003 alone, 10 wrongfully convicted defendants were released from death row."
These numbers are likely low.

In 2000 Governor George Ryan said:

"I cannot support a system which, in its administration, has proven so fraught with error and has come so close to the ultimate nightmare, the state's taking of innocent life... Until I can be sure that everyone sentenced to death in Illinois is truly guilty, until I can be sure with moral certainty that no innocent man or woman is facing a lethal injection, no one will meet that fate."--Governor George Ryan of Illinois, January 2000, in declaring a moratorium on executions in his state, after the 13th Illinois death row inmate had been released from prison due to wrongful conviction.

This call for capital punishment by Tim McLeans mom, could in fact lead to innocent people dying, like her son died that day. I would wonder if that is the legacy she would wish for, in her son's memory? I understand that this is so painful for this woman, but is this the answer?

The other problem with this proposal?

In light of the question of Vince Li's sanity, or lack of sanity.
Is it practical, realistic and or humane to put to death, people who are by definition, mentally ill?
Incapable of rational thoughts, behaviour, possibly delusional, separated from the usual perception of reality. This is a difficult question to be certain. But, for a person to be found guilty of murder, would they not have to be aware, in some sort of a rational, realistic manner?

As much as I feel for this family, when the State puts people to death, they do it on behalf of the citizens of the country, I want no part in the State committing the murder of innocent persons on my behalf.

This is a difficult situation, that much is for sure.

I am of the opinion in this case Vince Li will never see the light of day.


  1. Penny, I agree with your stance wrt capital punishment. It is not a deterant, and the chance that even one innocent person is murdered by the state is to high price to pay for 'revenge' based on emotion.

    That said, when handing down a 'life' sentence - that is exactly what it should mean: LIFE. No parole, no hope of release except in a little pine box. Period.