The Lynch List, 4-Jun-2010

This post is in recognition of the new human right to run international blockades and beat Israeli soldiers with metal pipes…

First: Give Binks a read and drop a prayer for Rifqa Bary, the American teenager who converted from Islam to Christianity and is afraid for her life. She has been diagnosed with uterine cancer.

Second: Haha, you silly government of Canada! “Not legally binding” means nothing to a Human Rights Tribunal!

Third: The BC Human Rights Tribunal continues to throw a monkey wrench into the efforts by the University of Victoria (and the courts) to evict a non-student from their student dorms.

Fourth: This is how our colleges educate their students on human rights: you don’t need to be human in order to have them. In the case of Vince Li, who beheaded a passenger on a Greyhound bus, there’s no argument that he is a few bricks short of a load. Nevertheless, it doesn’t stop misinformed college students from demanding that the province respects his “liberty”.

News flash: the human right to liberty is based on the assumption of the existence of the human capacity to reason. And I don’t need a criminology degree to know that. But this is what a higher education gets you in this country:

It would probably be beneficial for some of these people calling for Li`s execution, revocation of citizenship, imprisonment and deportation, to be hauled in front of a human rights tribunal and punished as criminals!

Fifth: It’s against my human rights to be filmed in public. No, really.

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8 Responses to The Lynch List, 4-Jun-2010

  1. I am NOT a misinformed college student, thank you very much. Vince Li is a human being and deserves to have rights. He is mentally ill and needs to be treated with respect, and dignity. I am disgusted at the public’s response to Vince Li, which is barbaric, misinformed and ignorant. His actions were completely out of his control.

    Do me a favor, and do some research on mental illness and schizophrenia before you bash my opinions and blog posts. Clearly, YOU are uneducated regarding the impact of mental illness on one’s judgment and conscious decisions.

    Allowing Li to have supervised walks outside, is a right. It would pose no risk to anybody, as he is medicated and in an completely different mindset than he was two years.

    Li is a victim of his mental illness. If you had schizophrenia and unintentionally beheaded somebody, due to hallucinations and delusions and voices, would you want all of your rights taken away? You would probably take a different stance in that situation wouldn’t you?

  2. Brittany:

    I appreciate your response. Allow me to explain my position:

    First, I’m fully educated on mental illness, thankyouverymuch, seeing as how some of my family members suffer from it. Education on mental illness is irrelevant, anyway – we’re talking about rights and freedoms.

    Your error is in your appeal to human rights as grounds to allow Mr. Li supervised leave. What is more egregious, you even advocate the prosecution of those who fear for their own safety through the human rights system, as if their right to life is inconsequential compared to Mr. Li’s right to liberty.

    The human right to liberty is dependent on one quality that makes us human, setting us apart from animals – reason. Those who misuse their right to liberty to infringe upon the rights of others, especially the right to life, lose their rights in proportion to the harm they have caused. (as an aside, I wouldn’t hesitate to demand incarceration of a child, spouse, sibling, etc. if he or she beheaded someone. You’re using one of the oldest fallacies in the book.)

    Since we are a people that recognizes forgiveness and human dignity, the people have authorized our government to be lenient and compassionate to those who infringe upon the rights of others. We may grant Mr. Li the privilege of supervised leave. But such a privilege can only be granted on the basis of public good. If the public believes it not in their best interests, the will of the public must be respected. That is why the people have set up review boards to grant parole and leave to criminals. Unfortunately, these review boards have all too often been stacked with criminology graduates who see their primary role as protecting the criminals from the public, not the other way around.

    Mr. Li may have the privilege of proving to society that he has regained reason. But this depends on the compassion and forgiveness of the public, something that no government can force (you know, that pesky human right to freedom of conscience and all). You have your work cut out for you to convince us to give him a chance, and threatening to haul us off to Human Rights Tribunals isn’t a very good start.

  3. Have you ever heard of sarcasm? I dont actually want to prosecute those who fear for their safety!

    The mentally ill, regardless of the crime committed, do NOT and should NOT lose their rights, ever. Do you not believe in equality? Mr. Li did not make a conscious choice to murder McLean. Whether you agree with it or not, criminals and the mentally ill do not lose their rights.

    Denying Mr. Li sunshine and fresh air, is cruel and unusual punishment, especially since he is not legally a criminal, but a mentally ill patient! Allowing those supervised walks would not pose a risk to anybody as he is medicated and they would be beneficial to his treatment. Confinement can lead to further mental health issues such as depression. Confinement is inhumane.

    We should respect and trust the decision initially made by the review board, comprised of educated individuals. Mr. Swan had not right to overrule their decision. The review board has to consider the risk to public safety in their decision. It states so in the Criminal Code. Clearly, they thought the risk of allowing Li supervised walks, was minimal. Also, Li is not a criminal. Do not label him as such.

    The public is largely ignorant and misinformed regarding mental illnesses and show no compassion for the mentally ill, such as Li. It disgusts me. The review board should NOT make their decision to cater to the ignorant and uneducated public opinion, which is an emotional response as opposed to one based on reason, rationale and logic.

  4. “The mentally ill, regardless of the crime committed, do NOT and should NOT lose their rights, ever.”

    Listen to what you are saying.

    If that’s the case, then Mr. Li, Mr. Schoenborn, and other killers who are not criminally responsible for their actions should be immediately released with no conditions whatsoever. Of course, that’s completely preposterous. The people of any free nation place their right to self-defence in the hands of a responsible government that ensures their safety from foreign and domestic enemies, regardless of their lucidity. That is why Mr. Swan, as a representative of the people’s will, has every right to overrule a decision made by a review board that is accountable to nobody.

    We can have a different decision on what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment – that is a sidebar issue.

    I understand your concern about emotional responses overriding rationality, but your last paragraph smacks of elitism. Unfortunately, until you abolish democracy entirely our government’s decisions will always, to some extent, be influenced by the emotional response of the ignorant masses.

  5. I never said those found NCR should be released with no conditions. Please point out to me, where I said that. Oh right, you can’t, because I did not say that! I said they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and are entitled to their rights, like any other Canadian citizen. They should be receiving treatment in a facility, until they are deemed to no longer pose a risk to the public safety. Allowing them to go outside, is beneficial to their treatment and should be granted. If these people are medicated and supervised, they would not pose any risk to the public.

    Mr. Swan had no right to overrule what is stated in the Criminal Code. He even said so himself, days earlier before he broke the law by overruling! The review board is accountable to the Criminal Code. You cannot overrule that federal legislation.

  6. Here’s where you said it: “The mentally ill, regardless of the crime committed, do NOT and should NOT lose their rights, ever.”

    Last I checked, every citizen has liberty and mobility rights. How can you detain them without infringing on these rights?

    I think you are confusing legality with rights. Those are two very different concepts, and often are diametrically opposed to each other. I would hope that a crim major would know that. Humans have rights, government restricts them through legal means.

    Thereby, Mr. Swan can seek to restrict the rights of Mr. Li through legal means. It is up to Canadians, through their representatives in the legislatures and Parliament, to give Mr. Swan the laws by which the rights of criminals and mentally ill are governed and restricted. It is not up to review board experts to dictate this to the people; they are public servants, not dictators.

    You are correct that Mr. Swan can’t overrule the Criminal Code, but he can (and should) go through the proper channels to see it amended and the powers of the review boards curtailed to better protect public safety.

  7. Rights have reasonable limits. The mentally ill need to receive treatment for their conditions, but those found NCR should not be further punished and deprived, such as being denied supervised walks. They are not criminals and should not be treated worse than prisoners. Yes, some rights can be restricted. But when the mentally ill are medicated and a review board allows them to go on supervised walks, they clearly pose little risk to the public. There is absolutely no reason for the government to deny those supervised walks, except revenge, which is unjustifiable.

    Swan had no right to overrule the review board and he even said so himself! Read the article from the Winnipeg Free Press! The Criminal Code review board is comprised of educated individuals who considered Li’s risk to the public safety and clearly decided it was minimal. Their decision should have been trusted, not overruled, for absolutely no reason.

    There is no reason to deny Li to have supervised walks. He poses little risk to the public safety.

  8. “Reasonable limits” implies a human interpretation. Rights therefore only have limits when people agree that such a limit is conducive to protecting their other rights. For example, we all agree to drive on the right (a limitation to our liberty) to reduce car crashes (a threat to our lives). Limits are only reasonable as far as reasonable people (the voters) agree to them. It so happens that, under Trudeau, the people agreed to place the decisions on the reasonableness of limitations in the trust of our Supreme Court. We can discuss in the future whether that is undemocratic or not, but I digress.

    So we disagree on semantics. We both agree that Mr. Li’s rights should be limited to some extent beyond that of the general public.

    I repeat: of course Mr. Swan has to obey the law. He cannot overrule the review board. Yet he can go through the appropriate channels to have the law changed and Mr. Li’s rights further limited. You are free as a voter to speculate on what you believe Mr. Swan “should” do, and I’m not here to argue that. But Swan is ultimately answerable to the people, not the review board. If he doesn’t take measures within the law to alleviate their fears, however baseless, the ignorant masses will probably elect someone else who will.

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