On Monday, doctors from the Selkirk Mental Health Centre told a Criminal Review Board Hearing that Vincent Li has made significant progress in his treatment. Indeed, the risk of Li re-offending according to his medical handlers is only about 1 per cent. Based on this new diagnosis, the Review Board was asked to give Li extended privileges within the facility. Previously, Lii has been allowed passes to walk on hospital grounds, provided he has direct supervision. Now doctors are suggesting Li is doing so well with the daily 60-to-90 minute walks that he should be allowed general supervision like any other patient at the hospital.
A second proposal that was made involves Li being permitted to take 30-minute excursions away from the hospital within Selkirk, provided he is accompanied at all times by a peace officer and a nurse. His doctors say those passes can be extended by up to 15 minutes per week, provided there are no incidents and he continues to make great strides.
Within the request to the Board, there is no indication that the community would be made aware of Li’s presence in their neighborhood. In fact, his doctors suggested the accompanying peace officers should be allowed to wear plain clothes to avoid drawing extra attention to Li.
Carol de Delley, Tim McLean’s mother, disagrees. She believes that Li is “a very unpredictably dangerous person.” Carol has given numerous media interviews in an attempt to heighten the awareness of the issues surrounding Vincent Li. While she is not concerned about security and surveillance while Li is in the care of the hospital, De Delley does question his activities outside of confinement. “What happens when he’s not in care anymore?”
The answer to this question has not been forthcoming. At the Hearing, the Crown did not raise any opposition to the proposals. Why would she? Li was described as having a “low risk of reoffending” and described as a “nice gentle guy”. Ironically, however, Li sat quietly through the Hearing in leg irons. On face value, it would appear that the members of the board only trust him in the Selkirk neighborhood.
Unfortunately, it is expected that Vincent Li will be given more freedom in the days to come. The Board is expected to render their decision shortly.
Signing the petition for Tim’s Law is showing support for a dialogue that weighs the rights of all sides of this discussion.
 An accused who is found NCR cannot be punished for his or her criminal act. Any post-verdict limitation on the liberty of the person found NCR must be justified on the basis that he or she poses an ongoing danger to the community: R. v. Owen,  1 S.C.R. 779, at para. 25. That constitutionally mandated precondition to restriction on liberty finds its statutory expression in s. 672.54(a). That section provides that if the Review Board concludes that the NCR accused does not pose “a significant threat to the safety of the public”, the Review Board must order an absolute discharge.
 The meaning of the phrase “significant threat to the safety of the public” has been authoritatively set down in Winko v. British Columbia (Forensic Psychiatric Institute),  2 S.C.R. 625, at paras. 49-62, 69. The phrase refers to a foreseeable and substantial risk of physical or psychological harm to members of the public that is serious and beyond the trivial or annoying. A very small risk of even grave harm will not suffice. A high risk of relatively trivial harm will also not meet the substantial harm standard. While the conduct must be criminal in nature, not all criminal conduct will suffice to establish a substantial risk. There must be a risk that the NCR accused will commit a “serious criminal offence”.
Many may find these guidelines established by law, and the courts, are of little consolation and with little recourse when the review board gets it wrong. And they do get it wrong… some would rightfully say, knowingly get it wrong. Read more
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”
PROVINCE OF MANITOBA
IN THE MATTER OF: Part XX.1 Criminal Code of Canada
AND IN THE MATTER OF: Vince Weiguang Li
AND IN THE MATTER OF: A Disposition hearing held in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Monday, June 1, 2009
QUORUM: John Stefaniuk, Chairperson
John Brown, Member
Dr. Thomas Thompson, Member
Dr. Maralyn MacKay, Member
Peggy Dillon, Member
APPEARANCES: Vince Weiguang Li
Mr. A. Libman and Mr. G. Bates,
Counsel for Mr. Li
Ms. C. Deegan,
Counsel for the Attorney General
DISPOSITION AND REASONS
Vince Weiguang Li appeared before the Review Board on Monday, June 1, 2009 for a Disposition hearing pursuant to Section 672.47(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada.
In making this disposition, we have considered the evidence before the Board at Mr. Li’s hearing, submissions by counsel, the evidence of Dr. S. Yaren and the victim impact statements filed in these proceedings, on June 1, 2009. We have also taken into consideration the need to protect the public from dangerous persons, the present mental condition of Mr. Li and his reintegration into society and his other needs.
Mr. Li was required to appear for this hearing, having been found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder in the Court of Queen’s Bench, Winnipeg, Manitoba on March 5, 2009 with respect to a charge of Second Degree Murder. After rendering the verdict, the presiding justice did not make a disposition but granted an extension of time to 90 days within which the Review Board is required to hold a hearing and make a disposition regarding Mr. Li.
The facts surrounding the index offence and those related to Mr. Li’s background and history are set out in the agreed statement of facts submitted by counsel in Mr. Li’s trial before the Honourable Justice Scurfield in the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench and the reports of Dr. Rootenberg, Dr. Robertson, and the several progress reports of Dr. Yaren prepared following Mr. Li’s incarceration and the direct evidence of the witnesses which also formed exhibits in this hearing. Those facts were not put in issue by the parties at this hearing. (more…)