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.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Holding Psychopaths To Account

"If he was here right now, I would say to him: 'I didn't really know you, but I heard you were a good person, a kind person ... and I'm sorry I shot you. You were not a target.'"
"I'm sorry I ruined your life and took your daughter away. All she wanted to do was help students."
"I'm sorry for ruining your life that day. You weren't someone who was a target."
Unnamed teenager, killer of four, La Loche Reserve, Saskatchewan
The young man who injured seven people after having killed four others in a high school in northern Saskatchewan stood in court and apologized to the families of those he had murdered in January of 2016. He has pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder. In one instance, before he entered the school he shot to death two teen-age brothers whom he knew well and had good relations with.

Dwayne Fontaine, 17, pleaded with his killer: "I don't want to die", but he was shot 11 times, twice in the head, while his brother Drayden, 13, was shot twice.The killer, himself 17 at the time he murdered four people, then left the  house and went on to the high school, on his way posting an online message: "Just killed 2 ppl", "Bout to shoot up the school". After his arrest, he was interviewed on a number of occasions by a neuro-psychologist who said he is no closer to understanding what motivated the psychotic outbreak than he was at the first interview.

Dr. Monty Nelson testified that the teen had a 58 IQ, below average intelligence, and that "thinking quickly was a major difficulty", for the young man. The court heard as well that a defence psychiatrist advised that the teen exhibits symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, has an intellectual disability, major depressive disorder and displays fetal alcohol syndrome signs. All of which conditions are not entirely rare within the aboriginal community, but which do not generate wholesale reactions of the kind that this teen treated his community to.

Substitute teacher Charlene Klyne lost her eyesight as a result of the teen's having shot her through a window while she sat in her classroom. It will be of little comfort to her to have heard that he is now "sorry for ruining" her life. Needless to say, she will live with post-traumatic syndrome and cope with sightlessness for the rest of her life. The killer strode the school hallways with a raised shotgun, students and staff scattering in terror before him.

Teacher Adam Wood managed to call 911 before he was shot in the torso and then again while he lay on the ground then transported to hospital where he was declared dead. Teacher's aide Marie Janvier ran to get help for Charlene Klyne and was shot dead. As for the two brothers who the teen shot mercilessly to death though they were friends of his, he has expressed the knowledge that the mother of the two boys has forgiven him. "I know she knows I am sorry for what I did", he said in court.

Well, that's all right, then.

This is not a teenager as some in the community had originally suggested, who was teased and bullied. He himself informed the neuro-psychologist that he had never felt bullied, he simply felt no connection to people. And that places him squarely in the community of psychopaths. This was a sentencing hearing. The judge will not decide yet what kind of sentence to pronounce since she is awaiting a Gladue report.

The purpose of a Gladue report is to give especial consideration to aboriginals who commit crimes, to take into account their background, to determine whether circumstances in the background warrant lighter punishments of their crimes. No doubt that report will dwell on the low IQ resulting from fetal alcohol syndrome and other issues relating to aboriginal disadvantages in the greater Canadian community.

A case is being weighed in Ottawa, concurrent with this one, though there is no connection between the two. This is a young man, Peter Herauf, who stabbed a 30-year-old woman who had taken a gram of marijuana from him  without paying for it. He reacted by pulling a six-inch hunting knife and stabbing her in the back, fatally. Justice Ann Alder hearing the case, feels the killer is truly remorseful.

His background is not entirely dissimilar to that of the aboriginal youth's. He was adopted by a university professor after he was left an orphan at a young age. He suffered brain damage from smoke inhalation when his mother and a sibling were killed in a housefire. His father was killed in a car accident. He suffers from a cognitive deficit which led to "immaturity, impulsivity and lack of judgement."

But he has been sentenced on a plea of manslaughter to 14 years in prison, considered to be "a fair and fit sentence in these circumstances", according to his defence lawyer who also said that the length of time of his incarceration "is in no way a reflection of the life lost." Some degree of dissonance here, is there not?

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

() Follow @rheytah Tweet