Vincent Li has in effect gotten away with murder so it is understandable that people’s emotions escalate when discussing Tim McLean’s tragic death. These same concerns and viewpoints are similarly shared by many people who demand that the justice system render a fair response. Unfortunately, not everyone believes that it was a systematic breakdown that led to Tim’s untimely death. Indeed, there are some groups in Canada who want to deflect the heightened attention away from Tim’s Law. Regardless of one’s stance, most Canadians would agree that the current procedures relied upon when rendering a verdict in Not Criminally Responsible criminal cases is lacking. Why? Because for the most part, the judicial verdicts provide minimal assurances that the criminal behaviour will not be repeated on another family by the same individual at a later date.
Those who are aware of the gruesome details of the murder readily agree that this guy is nuts. And unfortunately, there was likely nothing that could have been done to prevent this barbaric tragedy from occurring. This is not to suggest that legislative measures cannot be taken to ensure that Li will not be deemed “cured” at some point and subsequently awarded his freedom. In other words, walk the streets among us again. Whether he is likely to re-offend should be a mute point. The reality is that he should never have the opportunity.
And this is the reasoning behind Tim’s Law. The need to have a serious debate on how we “treat” people with mental illness who have offended in this manner. Public consultations across Canada that would be mandated to compile a list of recommendations including accountability and transparency within institutions. Of course we already know that Tim’s Law can do little to prevent this type of crime. But it could provide strict legal and institutional criterion to prevent these types of criminal activity from reoccurring by the same perpetrator.
This is our hope! We urge you to become actively involved.