Saturday, November 8, 2008

NaBloPoMo: #8

In June 2006, one of my homeless acquaintances was stabbed to death in an pedestrian underpass. He was 21.

Yesterday, the man accused of killing him was found not-guilty of second-degree murder.

Words don't adequately explain how disappointed I am that the justice system failed for my friend. How does a case built on self-defense work when the person using it had absolutely NO defensive wounds? Catcus, on the other hand, had 11 wounds over his entire body, including one so forceful that the tip of the knife broke off in his leg and another slash across his neck. How is that, in any way, self-defense?

The man accused of killing him also had a very long criminal record (24 charges), one of which included a 2-year jail sentence in 1991 for stabbing an undercover Toronto police officer (the jury could only hear about 10 charges for some unexplained reason).

In total, he has been sentenced to more than 12 years in jail over the course of his lifetime (he is 37 years old). Since the homicide, Mr. Hankey has also been charged with carrying a concealed weapon, after officials at the Lindsay jail near Kawartha Lakes allegedly found a knife hidden in his rectum.

And now he's a free man. No house-arrest, no probation, no community service. He is free, and he is walking the streets of Ottawa. He flat-out murdered someone, and he is free.

This worries me beyond belief for the two other trials coming up for murdered friends - Tim Wojna, 24, was punched in the head following a brief altercation with a stranger on June 23th, 2006. Tammy Couture, 18, was stabbed in the chest after getting into a fight with another girl over a boy on November 23, 2007.

What kind of example does this set for them? Are those murders going to go unaccounted for as well?


Kelly said...

That's a very scary precedent. I hope your friend rests in peace despite this verdict.

Britt said...

I'm so sorry for all of your losses. How hard it is to have so many friends die. I hope they and you can be at peace, despite the lack of justice for your friend in this case :(