Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Getting away with murder
A 17-year-old Winnipeg teen will step into a courtroom next week to be sentenced for the grisly February 2007 killing of Roxanne Fernando.And while he may have pleaded guilty to his crime, I firmly believe he is getting away with murder.That's because Fernando wasn't the only victim here. Her unborn child never got to take a single breath, thanks in large part to the cruel and callous actions of this youth.Yet in Canada, the baby growing inside Fernando whose life was snuffed out has no more legal rights than a park bench, stop sign or brick wall.Actually, I stand corrected. The pieces of property have MORE rights, as a person who drove their car into one or more of the above listed items would be on the hook for the damage he/she caused.This isn't the first time I've complained about the state of this particular legislation in Canada. Sadly, it likely won't be the last.And don't let the controversial abortion issue cloud this one for a single second. This has nothing to do with where you stand on a woman's right to choose.As I reported exclusively this past week, Roxanne Fernando made a choice here. Her choice was to have her baby, even when she was apparently facing tremendous pressure to abort. (Read full story HERE
)And when this beautiful young woman decided not to terminate her pregnancy, the decision was made to terminate her. And her baby.Is there anyone out there that doesn't view this as a double murder?The following press release was sent to me after my story ran across the country. It was from a group called the Campaign Life Coalition and titled "The Conservative government must act to recognize violence towards women and their unborn children." TORONTO, Oct. 18 - Another case has come forward in the media today where a young Winnipeg woman was murdered by a seventeen year old man because she refused to abort her baby. This case adds to three others, Aysun Sesen (October 2007), Olivia Talbot (December 2005) and Liana White (July 2005).“The Conservative government must act in recognizing that these four babies are indeed human beings and were brutally killed along with their mothers who wanted their babies. The murderous acts were directed at both of mother and baby,” said Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life Coalition (CLC).“The government cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the suffering of the grandparents who has lost both their daughters and their grandchildren,” he continued.“Roxanne Fernando was beaten to death by a seventeen year old youth who cannot be named because of his age but who has pleaded guilty to the brutal murder,” said Mary Ellen Douglas, National Organizer of CLC.“Roxanne died to protect her unborn child. Both she and her baby deserve to see justice done to the perpetrator,” she said.Campaign Life Coalition urges the federal government to deal with this issue immediately. The Prime Minister has made his justice bills front and centre in the throne speech. How about justice for the mothers and their unborn victims of violence too! Where do you stand on this? Let's get a discussion going by posting your thoughts below.
I'll also have plenty more on this topic on my "Crime and Punishment" radio show, heard Sunday nights from 7-9 p.m. CST across the Corus and Rawlco radio networks.