What A “Life Sentence” Really Means - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Saturday, 05 January 2013

What A “Life Sentence” Really Means

Is it time to have a serious conversation about what a “life sentence” really means.

I know that we are ardently trying to separate ourselves from our neighbors to the south, but when it comes to criminal justice I always ask why. For example, just this month, Rose Cece was released from prison in British Columbia after fatally stabbing a police officer. She served 14 ½ years after being convicted of second degree murder. I challenge you to name one U.S. state that would allow this to occur.

The criminal justice system in the U.S. likes to punish, among other perpetrators, people who kill police officers, so the question begs, why don’t we? Is it not time for the Prime Minister to take a closer look at our criminal sentencing and realize that for certain crimes life should mean life. For example, if you kill a police officer, you should never get parole. It is not difficult to come up with a specific category of people to which a life sentence should mean never seeing the light of day again.

Another mechanism commonly used in the States that we do not is the multiple life sentences to ensure there is no chance of parole. So if you are a culprit of a mass murder, example Sandy Hook, you get a life sentence for each of your victims to run consecutively, not concurrently. That way there is no possible chance of parole.

I for one am tired of victims such as the widow of Hancox (the slain police officer) having to cry out for justice. Why should she have to know her husband’s killer is happily breathing the same air? Should she not have some cold comfort that her husband’s killer will never be free? Is it not time to stop being humane and start being punitive when necessary? I am not a big fan of excessive punishment for crimes or being “cowboys”, I am a fan of certain crimes attracting a guaranteed punishment. I for one am not overly interested in re-integration into normal society for cop killers.

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