Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Robert Pickton gets life... but is eligible for parole?

Good news... well, kind of. Robert Pickton, who was convicted on Sunday of the murder of 6 women, has been sentenced to a life sentence without being eligible for parole for 25 years, apparently the mazimum sentence. Now, this is good because he could have been eligible after 10 years. Still, it seems a little odd that after MURDERING and being convicted of murdering six women there isn't an option in Canada for life imprisonment without eligibility for parole.

Of course, for Canada's most notorious serial killer, there are still 20 murder charges yet to be heard against him. Also, let's remember that the jury found him guilty of second-degree murder, believing that the murders were not planned. How do you murder that many people and not plan it?

Anyways, the AP reports on the family's victim impact statements. They're heartbreaking:

The family members had cried and prosecutor Michael Petrie choked up as he read victim-impact statements at Tuesday's hearing. Prosecutors are pushing for a maximum 25 years in prison before Pickton can seek parole.

Staring directly at Pickton, Lynn Frey read a statement from her granddaughter Brittney, whose mother Marnie Frey, was among the victims. Part of Marnie Frey's jaw bone was found on Pickton's farm.

"Mr. Pickton, why did you hurt my real mother and those other women?" the teenager wrote. "I have to go through each day. I ask myself. 'What would it be like if my real mother were here?' Mr. Pickton, why did you do that?"

"When you took her from me, it was like ripping out my heart."

Karin Joesbury wrote that her daughter Andrea was a "lovely, creative girl who wound up in a freezer, cut into parts."

Rick Frey, Marnie's father, smiled as he left the courtroom.

"That's great, that's good, that's what we wanted," said Frey. "We didn't think we'd get that but, yeah, it's perfect."

Prosecutors had sought a first-degree murder conviction, but the jury found Pickton guilty of the lesser second-degree murder charges, finding that the killings were not planned.


Anonymous said...

What really needs to be looked at are the others involved in this case. I really don't think it was just Pickton involved in this.

K. E. Lau said...

Hm. Well, I don't think it was that the jury 'believed' that Pickton's murders were unplanned; rather there simply wasn't enough direct evidence and the jury had to rely on the circumstantial. So it becomes extremely difficult to reconcile what is in all likelihood to be true (first-degree murder) with the game and rules of the legal system.

As suggested in the Toronto Star:
"Vancouver defence lawyer Mark Jette said the 'planning and deliberate' aspect that must be present in a first-degree conviction requires a high degree of criminal intent. 'And maybe they concluded that (Pickton) is not capable of planning but had the required intent to murder,' he said."

Even though the second-degree sentence was a disappointment, at least many legal experts agree that Pickton probably won't be able to get out of his life sentence anyway.