Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Longer murder terms urged

Manitoba MP's bill says up to 40 years

  • Print

OTTAWA -- Manitoba MP James Bezan wants to change the Criminal Code to allow the courts to keep convicted rapists and murderers behind bars as long as 40 years before they can seek parole.

Bezan, the Conservative MP from Selkirk-Interlake, introduced a private member's bill Wednesday that he has labelled the Respecting Families of Murdered and Brutalized Persons Act.

The single-page bill would allow a judge to increase the time from 25 years to a maximum of 40 years someone convicted of kidnapping, sexual assault or murder must serve before being eligible for parole.

"This bill is not about creating stiffer penalties for sadistic murderers," Bezan said when he introduced it.

"These depraved convicts do not qualify for parole. My bill is about saving families of the victims from having to go through the agony of attending unnecessary and traumatic parole hearings." He said families are terrorized again every time they have to appear at a parole hearing.

"When we pass my bill, it will help those families to not have to deal with those experiences over and over again when it is completely unnecessary," Bezan said.

NDP Justice critic Franßoise Boivin said her party has not made a decision about the bill but said she has to make a recommendation to her party by the middle of March.

"There is nothing more frustrating for families than to go back and back, so I understand the sentiment," Boivin said of the bill. "But with the Conservatives, the devil is in the details."

She said she will consult various experts about the subject over the next few weeks before making her recommendation to the party.

Bezan said he began working on the bill more than a year ago, prompted, in part, by comments from the mother of one of the victims of convicted serial killer Clifford Olson shortly after Olson's death. Bezan said the woman lamented that having to go before the parole board every two years was terrifying. Bezan said it allowed Olson to victimize the families over and over again.

He said he also was driven by the case of Ontario schoolgirl Tori Stafford. The eight-year-old was abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered in April 2009. One of her attackers, Michael Rafferty, was convicted of kidnapping, sexual assault and murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole for at least 25 years. The other attacker, Terry-Lynne McClintic, made a plea deal and pled guilty to first-degree murder.

"Just watching that case ripped my heart open," Bezan said.

mia.rabson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 1, 2013 A12

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Family of Matias De Antonio speaks outside Law Courts

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local- A large osprey lands in it's nest in a hydro pole on Hyw 59  near the Hillside Beach turnoff turn off. Osprey a large narrow winged hawk which can have a wingspan of over 54 inches are making a incredible recovery since pesticide use of the 1950's and  1960's- For the last two decades these fish hawks have been reappearing in the Lake Winnipeg area- Aug 03, 2005

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google