Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Another poster-boy for the death penalty

The video confessions of serial killer Col Russell Williams were replayed in the media today.

Last summer in a CP story (via CTV) it was suggested “... allegations ... could only heap more tarnish on the military, which also faced heavy criticism last winter for not spotting, among the myriad of psychological tests, potential problems with Col. Russ Williams.” And Mark at small dead animals opined on similar hare-brained musings from various experts and pundits like the Rideau Institute’s Steven Staples and the Globe’s John Ibbitson.

Today in the National Post letters page one William Perry echoed the same tripe:
There is much to be learnt here, not just for psychiatrists, profilers and criminologists. The Canadian Forces can use the data to ensure the checks and balances are there.

... So as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) moves to assure Canadians by stripping Williams of his rank and throwing him out of the military as a dishonoured civilian, the CDS must also take some level of responsibility for the overall failing. Someone must have seen signs.
All utter bullcrap. The Williams case is the most bizarre case ever in the CF (or anywhere else for that matter) and will likely never happen again. So what useful lessons can the military possibly learn?

The main lesson from this case is one the justice system should have learned by now. Williams is one more poster-boy for putting the death penalty back on the books.


Paul MacPhail said...

This case reminds me of Jack the Ripper. It took someone 121 years to solve that murder, because the man who committed the murders didn't seem to be anything but normal.
For those interested in how the case was solved, read it here:

It's a two-parter. Well worth the read, and it may help some people understand that this type of defect has been present throughout human history and will likely continue.

Paul MacPhail said...

Here's the link for part 2:

Anonymous said...

Since Canada does not have the death penalty it must have a provision for "life without parole". Canada currently does not have such a sentence.

Dangerous offender status will impose an indeterminate sentence length, but offenders can still get out on parole (see last paragraph of here:

It's an unfortunate likelyhood that Williams will walk free one day.

Anonymous said...

I can see it now - armed forces will weed out anyone with aggressive tendencies, not to mention anyone who thinks multiculturalism and climate change are crap. Opps - the 2nd criterion is probably already in place.