“Honey, I’m just going to go pick up Carolanne at work. Be right back,” she called out to her husband, who was, say, occupied in the washroom.
“OK, sweetie. Drive carefully,” he replied from behind the closed door.
She would never return home, because within 15 minutes she was dead.
I can’t say the last act of her life with her husband, Denis, went down as described above. But I can say with certainty that as this mother, Chantal Cyr, waited outside her daughter’s place of employment for Carolanne to finish work in Montreal on Sunday night, a crazed young man, 21, is alleged to have shot her in her vehicle before stealing it and driving off.
Chantal died shortly afterward.
The accused in the case, one Frédérick Gingras, has also been accused in the death of another person, James Jardin, in his 20s, and shooting and wounding a 64-year-old man. All of this happened, and more, during what is being described as a frenzy of violence complete with high-speed chases and crashes. Gingras faces two first-degree murder charges, among others.
So on Sunday night, three families and numerous friends and relatives were forever affected — just weeks before Christmas — by the senseless violence of, allegedly, one man.
I don’t know any of the victims in this case, but my heart hurts for them so much. I cry for them, as so many other Quebecers are doing this week. And I am so angry, like so many other are. I wish Canada had the death penalty right now . . . because, you know, if this happened to somebody I love, I might just . . .
I have felt this way before. At least twice since 2009.
I’ve mentioned Denis Blanchette here before. He was a stage technician working at the Parti Quebecois headquarters on election night in 2012 as Premier-elect Pauline Marois and her party celebrated their victory at the polls that day. It was a historic moment in Quebec: we had just elected our first female premier.
Denis and some colleagues were outside the venue having a smoke when one Richard Henry Bain pulled up in a vehicle and started shooting. Denis died, and another man was seriously injured before police subdued and arrested Bain.
It was one of the saddest times in Quebec history. Denis was the father of a young girl, and many in the province came together to raise money to help the child have some sort of future . . . without her dad.
Richard Bain, now 64 (I believe), was finally brought to justice this year, and sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for at least 20 years. But with time already served multiplied by 1.5, he could be eligible for parole in 14 years, by my calculation.
But Denis Blanchette’s daughter will serve a life sentence of not having had her dad.
I have cried for for Denis Blanchette and his daughter, as have so many Quebecers . . . And I am still angry at the man who hurt them and all who love them, as are so many other Quebecers. Yes, I wish Canada had the death sentence . . .
And then there was cardiologist Guy Turcotte, who was angered by the fact his marriage had broken up and his wife was seeing another man. So, he stabbed his 5-year-old son 27 times and his 3-year-old daughter 19 times as they slept in their bedrooms in 2009 — to get back at his wife, you see.
A jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity in the first trial. But the Crown appealed, and a second trial and jury convicted Turcotte. He was sentenced to life in prison, with no chance of parole for 17 years in December 2015.
I’m not sure how much time served he had chalked up during the trial processes and his stay in a psychiatric institution. But it would not surprise me if he is out of prison in 10 years or so.
I cried for those children, as did so many other Quebecers. And I am angry at the man who took the lives of those children and hurt so many other people in the process, as are so many other Quebecers. Yes, I wish Canada had the death sentence . . .
Canadians, Americans, Britons and others hear stories like this all the time. Murders such as these are all too common these days. Sure, some states in the U.S. have the death sentence, but even there, it takes years stretching into decades sometimes before murderers are actually executed.
I’m guessing that in the United States, when a murderer is sentenced to life, they are never released in most cases. But in Canada, a life sentence can be as short as 10 years with parole factored in and seldom longer than 20 years.
So, all of the killers mentioned in the first three segments of this post will probably be on the streets again — though, Bain may die in prison given his age.
There have been other murderers in Canada whose crimes were so horrific — Paul Bernardo, among them — that they have been deemed dangerous offenders and can be held indefinitely as a result. But the vast majority of murderers are released, to walk under the blue sky again while their victims lie in their graves.
So, why do we hold these people in prisons? Why don’t we march them out to the town square after all of their appeal processes have been exhausted and execute them by firing squad?
Yes, I know some of you will say the death penalty is not a deterrent. People will still commit murders.
I disagree. It will be a deterrent if we execute murderers quickly rather than let them languish in prisons for 10 years or more before sending them to a small chamber to be executed in front of a handful of people.
A public execution, for all to come and witness and jeer at the murderer, would send very loud messages to everyone else, and perhaps would make at last one potential murderer change his or her course.
And there is also the economic factor. Why should taxpayers have to foot the bill for murderers to have three square meals a day, access to fitness facilities and recreation centres and health services etc.? Why should we pamper these scumbags?
You might argue that we do not have the right to take a life, but that would overlook the obvious: Mankind kills people as a matter of course in “justified” war, and he kills animals and all manner of living things. We as a species have no qualms about killing when we feel it is justified. Are not “justice” and “justified” synonymous?
And for those who say the judging should be left to God, I say that we are acting on behalf of God or, put another way, we are acting as the instruments of karma and would actually be doing the murderers a favour by executing them. The law of karma: you reap what you sow. If you kill, you shall be killed in a similar way, if not in this lifetime, then in another. So, by executing them right away, karma, or God, is served. And the murderer can start anew in whatever lies beyond the pale.
OK, so you may not buy into the spirituality of all this. And perhaps you think that by sparing their lives and reforming murderers, they might become good contributors to mankind upon their release.
Maybe. But probably not. They’ll probably reoffend, perhaps take away someone else’s mom or dad or children.
And the people who have lost loved ones because of the murderers will still be scarred for life. And those they murdered will still be denied the life experience they could and should have had . . .
No excuses for cold-blooded murderers. Why they did it should be irrelevant, even if they are deemed mentally ill — because anybody who murders is obviously mentally deranged.
People who commit premeditated, cold-blooded murder should be executed quickly after they are convicted, with the public as witnesses.
Canada needs a death penalty again, to rid us of scumbags like those mentioned above. When they end somebody else’s life, they should forfeit theirs. It is an abomination to pamper them in prisons and allow them to walk the earth again.
A gofundme campaign has been started to help the husband and daughter of Chantal Cyr. Click here to read more.
First, the death penalty doesn’t appear to be a disincentive to murder. States where the death penalty was outlawed did not see an increase in murders. If the possibility of death were a disincentive, then you would expect the murder rates to go up when there is no death penalty on the horizon.
Second, and most important, we have executed far too many truly innocent people in the U.S.
That alone is the reason to abolish the death penalty.
Wow! You’re fast. I just finished editing the piece — I have a habit of hitting “publish,” then going back and doing more editing. It had several typos.
Anyway, I don’t care if it is or isn’t a disincentive, though I do think a very public execution — perhaps stoning — might be a disincentive (you can tell I’m pissed off, yes?). But disincentives shouldn’t be the main reason for executing murderers. These bastards simply don’t deserve to live.
Obviously, the death sentence should be reserved for cases in which there is no doubt about who did it, as was the case for two of the crimes mentioned in my piece — the third being the one that happened this week.
Do you seriously believe what you have published, because I don’t. I interpret it as just another facile, provocative and shoddy editorial piece The simple fact is that any Western country that has or would consider the death penalty for murder has proved capable of distinguishing between the innocent and guilty on an anywhere near reliable enough basis to prevent the execution of the innocent accused, as subsequent appeals or retrials repeatedly demonstrate. In the US states that still have the death penalty they know this, have always known this and yet, simply do not care, determined, as they are, to satisfy their brutal, biblical and neanderthal determination to have revenge. To say nothing of the unseemly determination of low-life politicians to pander to the most ignorant and raging members of the electorate to encourage them to vote for them. It’s “killing for votes”, even if you have to euthanize with vets drugs or worse . I wonder how much each execution would be worth if you could monetarize them? The irony is that those who are keenest on having the death penalty often are the loudest mouths on social media sites calling for the extra-judicial killing of anyone or everyone for not only committing murder, but for committing treason or just spitting on the side-walk, or, for that matter, executing gays just for being gay. Besides, if you are really serious about prevention, then you need to find something a bit more effective than killing the last person who committed it because as a preventative measure it has proved roundly ineffective even after hundreds of years. The victims you cite would still have been dead because their murderers NEVER pause to rationalize their actions in the wider context before acting. Rationale and logic simply isn’t their thing, nor is it the thing of the next perpetrator-in-waiting.
I ask you one question: if one of the cold-blooded murderers mentioned in my blog post killed your partner or your daughter, would you want that bastard coddled by the system at taxpayers’ expense, and then released 10 or 15 years later with the probability that he will reoffend, perhaps murdering another of your family members? I’m not talking about executing people for manslaughter. I’m talking about executing cold-blooded murderers who have no respect for human life.
Public executions? Stonings? get a grip, girl.
Ian. I’ll pose the same question to you I asked PC — and I probably should have put this in the original post:
If one of the cold-blooded murderers mentioned in my blog post killed your partner or your daughter, would you want that bastard coddled by the system at taxpayers’ expense, and then released 10 or 15 years later with the probability that he will reoffend, perhaps murdering another of your family members? I’m not talking about executing people for manslaughter. I’m talking about executing cold-blooded murderers who have no respect for human life.
I agree with Droneman and with PC. The death penalty I think is properly proven to not be a deterrent, so it can only be part of a revenge system.
Besides that, if as a society you think it’s not acceptable to kill, as society you then should not kill. But, lock op cold killers for life, really for life!
And the US has also proven that it is more expensive to kill than to lock up. Unless you obviously don’t care about innocent people being executed.
In that case, as society, are you than any better than a cold blooded killer who in your own words should be quickly killed?
No, the death penalty is nothing but revenge,and thus stilling your own bloodthirst because of anger…
The real cold blooded killers simply should be locked out of society and die there in the end from natural causes.
Only if it is on the spot to protect the life of others I think it’s acceptable to kill, but indeed only because other innocent people are imminent to possibly die.
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Good answer, Angela.
BUT, I pose the same question to you that I asked others here: If one of the cold-blooded murderers mention in my blog post killed your partner or your daughter, would you want that bastard coddled by the system at taxpayers’ expense, and then released 10 or 15 years later with the probability that he will reoffend, perhaps murdering another of your family members? I’m not talking about executing people for manslaughter. I’m talking about executing cold-blooded murderers who have no respect for human life.
I would want the killer been locked away, out of society, preferably for the rest of their life!
Yes, we keep them alive in a humane way as we as a society should not lower ourselves to the level of those we dispise.
And, the living standards and the ‘luxury’ in jails is an other discussion.
But, not being allowed out of a luxury hotel room without any communication with others I’m pretty sure even you would very quickly start to experience as a bad jail.
And there also still is an option of having them do work inside the complex that pays towards their keep.
This situation also is different from the fact that as humans greed generally is the most important thing to nourish, which would have many humans happily let other humans starve to death if it returns a profit.
Too many humans are just utter a-holes, but as a society we also still do not kill those.
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Jillian, I don’t think that being in jail and coddled belong in the same sentence. (Having had a brother in jail, I can tell you it ain’t no warm, coddling kind of experience.) And even if someone close to me was murdered, I doubt I’d derive any sense of justice from seeing then publically executed or stoned to death. Given the tone of of your other blogs, it seems out of character for you to go so “postal” on this issue.
You make some interesting points.
In Canada, I think they do coddle inmates, i.e. three square meals a day, recreation rooms, no bills to pay etc. We on the outside struggle daily to keep a roof over our heads with a soft bed to lie in, knowing that we could be homeless with a slight change of circumstances. But inmates have no such worry.
It’s not about deriving a sense of justice. It’s about something much deeper than that, as in karma. It’s also about putting down mad dogs. More on that later.
About it being out of character: It would seem so. I am going to discuss that issue (see preceding sentence) in another blog post, which I started last night but was too tired. So I dashed off the more, umm, light-headed one about the human head transplant.