Pun­ish­ment should fit crime

The Compass - - OPINION -

The Cana­dian jus­tice sys­tem has once again proved how lit­tle it cares for the vic­tims of crime.

I am re­fer­ring to the sen­tenc­ing of Michael Raf­ferty for the crimes of rape and mur­der of an eight-year-old schoolgirl, Vic­to­ria Stafford.

So­ci­ety should do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to show its re­spect and value for vic­tims of crime.

In the case of mur­der, there is noth­ing that we can do to bring back the de­ceased but we can show our rev­er­ence for the life taken by im­pos­ing the high­est form of pun­ish­ment on the per­pe­tra­tor. That, the­o­ret­i­cally, would be cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment.

How­ever, it has been well-doc­u­mented that in­no­cent peo­ple in the past have been ex­e­cuted, there­fore the proper sen­tence would be life in prison till death.

I am sad to say that is not what Michael Raf­ferty re­ceived. Raf­ferty will only serve 25 years and then pos­si­bly get out on pa­role.

Raf­ferty is only 31, so when he is 56 he could very well be walk­ing the streets of some Cana­dian city. In 25 years, Vic­to­ria Stafford will only be a faded mem­ory to most Cana­di­ans, if they re­mem­ber her at all. This is just not right or fair. Doug Smith writes from Grand

Falls-wind­sor

Ed­i­tor’s note: this let­ter also ap­peared in the May 18 edi­tion of The Tele­gram

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