This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Reserve Dysfunctional Violence

"And then he [the father] said: 'You got three seconds to leave or I'm gonna kill you. You and your mom', ... Then he looked at me."
"And then I pulled the trigger."
"I couldn't stop him from hurting my mom. My mom was telling my dad to stop. But he wouldn't stop."
13-year-old parricidal boy, John D'or Prairie, Alberta

"His worry was that if he didn't overcome his father, they'd both be beaten to death."
Lawyer for 14-year-old boy, rural Manitoba, First Nations reserve

"It's been for the best My mom might eventually have been killed by my father ... and everyone can just be who they want to be."
Matthew Crichton 27, Grovedale, Alberta
Matthew Crichton pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of his 73-year-old father. He had, he said, only intended to fire a warning shot at his abusive father. Because of the circumstances of the death of his father, Matthew Crichton was given a few months' jail sentence.

In the case of the Manitoba 14-year-old, his father had been drinking all day. He struck his wife with a cellphone, then squeezed lemon juice into her eyes. The boy sought to intervene. A scuffle ensued, and with a knife, the boy fatally severed his father's pulmonary artery. He hadn't meant to kill his father.

The weapon used by the thirteen-year-old in Alberta was a Winchester 30-30. The RCMP and North Peace Tribal Police found the boy standing outside his home, awaiting their arrival at his First Nations settlement of a thousand people, in northern Alberta. The boy informed police that he had killed his father in self-defence And last week an Alberta judge agreed with him. He had spent two years in custody, and was forthwith released from custody.

After his client was found not guilty of second-degree murder, his lawyer stated "He is not a murderer", that the boy was "devastated in fact", with his father's death, because it was at his hand. Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act youth cannot be named. The trial, however, revealed that the boy, his siblings and their mother had suffered years of abuse at the hands of their father.

He hit the children daily, threatened to kill them, put one son in hospital forcing him to take unprescribed medications and once had attempted to run them all over with his truck As for the mother, when she appeared in court her appearance spoke volumes. She had no upper teeth and scars and lumps were spread over her head.

The father began attacking the mother in the early hours of August 5, 2013. Bursting into his parents' bedroom with a rifle, the boy confronted his father. And shot him. There comes a time when the weak and the vulnerable decide they will no longer be victims. And they take steps to free themselves from the bonds that denied them liberty.

At a dreadful personal cost. Sometimes there are no other choices.

'Joey' has been acquitted and freed from custody, but experts wonder what will happen to him now.
'Joey' has been acquitted and freed from custody, but experts wonder what will happen to him now. (CBC) 
"A 13-year-old is young to be involved in a homicide. Typically, the age range is 15 to 17." 
"They may love the parent. And typically they say that they do. But the stress has been such that when the parent is now deceased, the parent is no longer perceived as a continuing threat to them. So there's a sense of relief. Just relief it's over."
Kathleen Heide, criminology professor University of South Florida, author of Understanding Parricide: When Sons and Daughters Kill Parents 

"It certainly strikes me as being a plausible outcome that a judge would find that he acted in self-defence. The Criminal Code is quite clear in terms of what the standard for self-defence is, and what factors get considered. You've got a very serious abuser, you've got an ongoing assault. You've got an effort to protect not only himself, but his mother who's being abused. You've got that history of abuse and you've got this very young boy who presumably believed this was the only alternative left to him — or at least there was some reasonable doubt about that. And that's what convinced the judge to acquit."
University of Alberta law professor Steven Penney

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