Woman’s murder prompts questions, raises concerns
Murder. The sheer mention of the word makes some people gasp. And well it should. In the Criminal Code of Canada there is no crime more serious than murder, a fact reflected in the range of sentences proposed by Parliament for those who are convicted of committing this most heinous offence.
Yet every year in this country literally hundreds of Canadians meet their death at the hands of another person.
And every year families, friends and co-workers find themselves grieving the loss of someone close to them, while at the same time trying to make sense of a tragedy for which no acceptable explanation can ever be found.
There was a time in Prince Edward Island, and not that long ago, when murder only made the headlines once every several years. That was then, this is now. In the last three years in this province there have been several murders.
Just this past spring Alfred Guy Vuozzo was sentenced to life in prison with no parole eligibility for 35 years for killing two men in slayings that the Crown says were carried out to avenge the death of his sister in 1970.
He had been convicted of the murders of Brent McGuigan, 68, and his son Brendon McGuigan, 39.
This past spring as well a Charlottetown youth was found not guilty of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of 45-year-old Kent David Gallant.
The dust has barely settled on that case but once again we find the word murder staring down at us from the headlines following the discovery of a woman’s body Friday in a wooded area of Pleasant Grove.
Joel Lawrence Clow, a 46-year-old fisherman has been charged with her murder.
Clow has also been charged with indecently interfering with human remains, a charge which, while not as serious as murder, will likely add to the anguish of family and friends of both the deceased and the man alleged to have taken her life.
But it must be stressed that Clow, at this point in time, has only been charged with these crimes.
He has yet to be proven guilty of anything related to this incident. What will come of this only time will tell. He could be convicted of these offences at trial. Or he could be found not guilty. Those decisions rest in the hands of the judge, or the judge and jury, should he elect to be tried by a jury of his peers.
The murder of 40-year-old Traci Lynch — her identity was not released by police but was confirmed by family — will once again cause many readers to stop and think about has happened.
Many will express sympathy for those who grieve.
Some will voice their anger at the man accused of those crimes.
This incident will also, we suspect, prompt many to question what could possibly drive a thinking, feeling human being to commit such violent crimes and to question how they might have been prevented.
It may also kindle yet another discussion on how those who commit murder in this country should be punished if they are convicted.
Should they be incarcerated for life, as the Criminal Code now dictates?
Should Canada, as some suggest when murder rears its ugly head, consider bringing back the death penalty?
Or is there something else which Canada as a country can do that addresses both the issue of punishment and the need to change the mindset of those prone to violence?