A Middle Sackville teenager whose family had been trying to get him psychiatric help has been found not criminally responsible for second-degree murder because of a mental disorder.
Judge Pam Williams made the finding today in Halifax youth court, accepting an expert opinion from a psychiatrist that the teen was psychotic when he killed a woman Feb. 5.
Joyann Wright, 49, died at her house on Hewer Crescent in Middle Sackville. She suffered multiple stab wounds and blunt-force injuries.
The name of the accused, who turned 18 last month, is banned from publication under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. (more…)
A young lady writing her thoughts on the Vincent Li Review Board Hearing eloquently expressed her opinion, reasoning, and agreement with the professionals charged with the assessment, and treatment of Vincent Li.
In her concluding statement she raised a point that strikes at the very heart of much of the debate surrounding individuals such as Vincent Li.
Brittany writes “ I’m a bit confused as to why they are making such a fuss about a guy walking outside for 15 minutes when they should be investigating how a person who was previously under the care of our mental health system could be released to commit such a horrific act in the first place.”
For many people there is an inherent distrust in the ability of of these “professionals” to adequately determine the “fitness” of these individuals to live amongst the general public.
The prosecution at the original “trial” was an inept show where everyone was in agreement and slapping themselves on the back for a job well done… a 2nd degree murder charge when the perpetrator acquires a weapon prior to boarding the bus?.. or the newspaper article he was allegedly reading in the days prior to the crime… allegedly because there never was a venting of the facts..
So the question of his first release may raise another question… did the professionals examine Li and find no condition requiring treatment? Again with no evidence presented at a “trial”, we are left to ponder.
Another “expert” (Dr Stanley Yarin) last year declared that under his care Li was responding well to treatment… after little more than a couple of sessions!
And now Dr Kremer has found that some sunlight and exercise may be just what the doctor ordered.
Excuse my skepticism but doctors with egotistical narcissistic personalities rushing to declare that they have “cured” persons who have committed heinous crimes does not bolster my confidence.
These professionals first need to actually perform their roles and duties with a sense of due diligence. That may actually inspire the general public to actually have some confidence in their ability to successfully diagnosis the subjects in their care.
How has Timothy’s death affected or impacted me. May 2010
I’ve become very angry, frustrated and I lack the ability to focus on other issues in my daily life. I struggle to get through a day without crying over the details of my son’s death. We have now been through a year of firsts without Timothy. Our family has had births and deaths and we have an upcoming wedding. Every event is bittersweet because Timothy isn’t there to join in the festivities, and he should be.
I liked my life quite well 2 yrs ago. I was in my 10th year of driving a school bus, and I was cooking meals for a senior’s home. I now know how it feels to lose a child, and I no longer want the responsibility of all those children’s lives on my shoulders. I no longer possess the patience or the personality to do the job. I am no longer the fun-loving, carefree person that I used to be. I have great difficulty sleeping and even when I sleep I never feel rested. I worry all the time about my family members when they’re not in my sight. I worry about how Timothy’s death has affected my remaining children., and what the long term affects will be. I have concerns over my husband’s health. He now has high blood pressure even with his medication and he too has a hard time getting any rest. The stress has taken a toll on all of us.
I am almost 50 yrs old and I swear these past 2 years have aged me by 10 years every employment I’ve ever had has been people oriented, I used to enjoy interacting with others through my work and socializing. I don’t any more and I have no desire to make new acquaintances because I don’t trust people anymore. I have no idea what I’ll be doing for employment in the future and that is a very big concern for me. I have been in therapy 2 to 3 times a week since Timothy’s death to give me the tools to help me cope on a daily basis with the sorrow, heartache and rage I now experience. Of course the cost of getting to therapy and the therapy itself are not cheap. I am often unable to focus on the task at hand and my memory has become sporadic, retention is a problem too. I hear conversations and can participate in them, however, trying to recall them later is difficult. I have to write everything down now. I am currently on long term disability so my income is about half of what it was before which of course has put more of the financial burden on my husband
I have never been a prejudiced person and now I am wary of all people and particularly of people of Asian descent. I don’t want this to be the case it just is. I don’t want to see the visions in my mind but they are still there. I don’t want to be here speaking the review board, I feel I have to be.
Carol de Delley (Timothy McLean’s mother)
At Vincent Li Second Annual Review Board Hearing, Dr. Steven Kraemer said he believes Li is ready to be allowed out of his locked, high-risk ward and on to the grounds at the institution for up to 30 minutes a day. Dr. Steven Kraemer is Vincent Li lead treating psychiatrist.
It has been less than two years but Kraemer suggests Li could be accompanied by two security guards instead of the typical one-on-one supervision other residents receive. He said Li’s opportunities for fresh air, sunshine and recreation could gradually go up to two hours each day.
Even though the grounds are not surrounded by any fence and extra staff would likely have to be hired to accommodate the resources needed for Li, Dr. Steven Kraemer feels they are taking a very cautious approach. “We have no way of knowing how he will respond,” said Dr. Kraemer.
He said Li has responded well to medication, listens well to staff and has attended all required programming and treatment. Li has developed a better understanding about the impact of his crime and only “occasionally” suffers from the hallucinations that once haunted him.
Less than 2 years after brutally murdering Tim McLean, Vincent Li will have his second Review Board Hearing on May 31,2010. The purpose of this review is to determine whether Vincent Li poses a continued threat to the general public
The Supreme Court of Canada has determined that the Review Board has an obligation to resolve when Vincent Li comes before them:
1. Vincent Li was found by the court to be “Not Criminally Responsible” for his action. Vincent Li does not have to prove anything. In other words: “properly read the section does not … impose a burden of proving lack of dangerousness on the NCR accused.”. There is no presumption of dangerousness in the law.
2. “Dangerousness” has a specific, restricted meaning of “a significant threat to the safety of the public”. This means there must be evidence to support the risk being real, and the physical or psychological harm being serious. The activity causing the harm must be criminal.
3. The Review Board has a duty to investigate facts which support release, as well as detention.
4. “If the Review Board fails to positively conclude, on the evidence, that the NCR offender poses a significant threat to the safety of the public, it must grant an absolute discharge”. In other words, if the Review Board “harbours doubts” or can not resolve whether Vincent Li is a significant risk to the safety of the public, they must unconditionally discharge as there is no legal or constitutional basis for confinement.
5. “As in all cases, the Review Board must make the disposition that is the least restrictive of the NCR accused’s liberty possible.”
6. The Review Board has an affirmative duty “to consider the accused’s personal needs”