Sunday, September 30, 2007

Something's not right here

Last week, Dr. Dawg and April Reign both blogged about an injustice so horrific it's almost surreal. It's the recent case of a little 4-year-old girl in Edmonton whose "mother" (allow me to use "scare quotes", they're quite suitable in this case) allowed her partner to put her daughter through unspeakable torture, physical and sexual abuse, only to ultimately get a slap on the wrist of a "sentence" that may not even be worthy of being called a "slap on the wrist". The "mother" got off scot-free with a 2-year "conditional sentence"; her partner got only 8 years, meaning he'll very likely be out in 3.

So to recap: A little girl whose life has been ravaged, who'll take years to recover from the trauma if she recovers at all. Her best case scenario is that the horror of what she endured will haunt her forever; one can only imagine the possibilities of how it might drive her life. Then there's the people responsible for this, serving a grand total of 3 years in prison between them. Hard to believe, isn't it?

I'm not an authoritarian and don't believe in prison terms just for the sake of punishment -- if we have to put people in jail, I'd rather use it as a rehabilitative opportunity. We as a society shouldn't be paying to punish criminals, we should be paying to turn them back into functional members of society.

But there are people who, for whatever reason, are hardwired without those qualities that make the rest of us able to co-exist in society, no matter how different our values. There are people who are so sick with lack of conscience, so utterly bereft of remorse for their wrongdoings, that they need to be kept away from the rest of us. The people who so violently betrayed the trust of this little girl are a prime example. And they will re-offend -- it's not in them to see any reason why they shouldn't.

This ludicrous and appalling sentence is an insult to a little girl who's already borne every kind of physical and emotional insult possible. It's an insult to anyone who believes in justice. It can't be allowed to stand. The Crown Prosecutor is appealing the conditional sentence given to the mother; her partner's sentence must also be appealed.

Please send your (polite) thoughts to the Crown Prosecutor on this case, information as follows:
Shelley Bykewich, Crown Prosecutor
Crown Prosecutors Justice and Attorney General
6th fl John E Brownlee Building
10365 - 97 Street
Edmonton, AB T5J 3W7

Phone: 780 422-1111
Fax: 780 422-9756