Criminal Responsibility = Day ParoleNow that's a change to the criminal justice system that makes no sense whatever. Last year a "Commissioner's Directive" was issued giving all-encompassing powers of decision-making to prison wardens. Powers which meant that wardens would be able to ignore the recommendations of the Parole Board of Canada. The idea was to enhance and enlarge upon the existing authority in the Corrections and Conditional Release Act.
And that change has been hugely beneficial to a murderer whom the warden at Fraser Valley Institution for Women in Abbotsford, British Columbia granted permission to an application for an "escorted temporary absence". The very application that convicted murderer, Elaine Rose Cece, was earlier denied by the Parole Board.
She was turned down for a simple reason. The board felt she lacked insight into the crime she had committed. She drove a knife into the chest of a Toronto police officer as he was seated in his surveillance van parked at a Scarborough strip mall. She had an accomplice, and with her accomplice planned to ambush Det.-Const. William Hancox in August 1999.
Mary Barbara Taylor and Elaine Rose Cece, lovers at the time, had conspired to murder Det.-Const.Hancox, but it was Ms. Cece, 41 years of age at the time, who plunged that 12-inch butcher's knife through the van window into the 32-year-old policeman's chest. He was married, had an infant child, and his wife was expecting their second child.
For the murder, the penalty for Ms. Cece was 16 years in prison for second-degree murder. She was within three years of full parole eligibility. In her interview with the Parole Board she described the deadly event in the third person, even though board members prompted her to speak in the first person singular; she was, after all, the deadly assailant.
"...but she either couldn't or wouldn't, and continued telling the story as a witness", recounted Kim Hancox-Spencer, the officer's widow. Her mixed response to prison programs and "issues with drugs and alcohol abuse", along with her unwillingness to take full responsibility for the murder she had committed, convinced the Parole Board to turn down her application.
Now their recommendation has been turned aside.