Put child killer back be­hind bars

Winnipeg Sun - - COMMENT -

Our fed­eral prison sys­tem is aptly named the Cor­rec­tional Ser­vice of Canada, where the em­pha­sis is — and must be — the cor­rect­ing of the anti-so­cial be­hav­iour of those in its charge.

Re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing in­mates makes sense. Most crim­i­nals — such as thieves, rob­bers, drug deal­ers, fraud artists and even those con­victed of sex crimes — will be re­leased even­tu­ally into so­ci­ety, so en­sur­ing that they leave prison as bet­ter peo­ple is good for ev­ery­one. Cana­di­ans, for the most part, ac­cept this logic. Which brings us to Terri-lynne Mc­clin­tic, who was con­victed along with her boyfriend of the April 8, 2009, ab­duc­tion and first-de­gree mur­der of eight-year-old Tori Stafford in Wood­stock, Ont.

Par­lia­ment is in an up­roar af­ter it was dis­cov­ered that Mc­clin­tic — less than nine years into her life sen­tence — was trans­ferred from the Grand Val­ley In­sti­tu­tion for Women in Kitch­ener, a medium se­cu­rity fa­cil­ity, to a fence­less min­i­mum/medium abo­rig­i­nal heal­ing lodge in Saskatchewan.

Dur­ing a heated ex­change in the

Com­mons as Con­ser­va­tive MPS de­manded the killer be re­turned to the fenced prison in On­tario — iron­i­cally and hyp­o­crit­i­cally — Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau called them “am­bu­lance-chas­ing politi­cians” just one day af­ter vow­ing “against the pol­i­tics of di­vi­sion” and “per­sonal at­tacks.”

NDP MP Sheila Mal­colm­son said: “The Con­ser­va­tives’ ex­ploita­tion of this lit­tle girl’s death is sick­en­ing.”

Con­sid­er­ing that Mc­clin­tic’s trans­fer to the heal­ing lodge was raised by Tori’s griev­ing fa­ther, Rod­ney Stafford, one has to won­der if these MPS think he is ex­ploit­ing his daugh­ter’s mur­der? It’s a grotesque charge.

When Tori’s tiny body was found af­ter she was kid­napped, raped and mur­dered, it had 16 bro­ken ribs and a crushed skull. Mc­clin­tic ad­mit­ted to smash­ing the girl’s skull with a claw ham­mer. Mc­clin­tic now lives in a cot­tage at the heal­ing lodge prison with chil­dren nearby.

Trudeau has been sanc­ti­mo­niously plead­ing with the Con­ser­va­tives to stop read­ing the dis­turb­ing de­tails of Tori’s death into the record.

How weak. If Tori had to live it, then surely our leg­is­la­tors can lis­ten to the facts and make it clear to cor­rec­tions of­fi­cials to send Mc­clin­tic back to her pre­vi­ous prison and give Tori’s dev­as­tated fam­ily some peace at least un­til 2030.

Most Cana­di­ans, in­clud­ing those who be­lieve in re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and treat­ing in­mates hu­manely, are ap­palled by this trans­fer so soon af­ter the crime was com­mit­ted.

Trudeau should be sup­port­ing the move to put Mc­clin­tic back be­hind a chain link fence. Jus­tice de­mands it.

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