HANGING OUR HEADS IN SHAME FOR A YOUNG MAN NAMED MCLEAN

Unsplash Image - Taylor Leopold

Let’s tell the truth. Almost nobody who publicly pretends to care about Vince Li actually does. Nothing brings out the phony in people more than the story of a man who bought a knife, boarded a Greyhound Bus, carved up a young man, and proceeded to cannibalize him for hours before ending one of the saddest chapters in Canadian history by surrendering to RCMP.

It happened nearly 7 years ago and for nearly 7 years the legal system and mental health care system and politically correct phony system has tried to put layer after layer of plastic on the corpse of justice. First the Crown and defence agreed there would be no trial and no murder conviction because Vince Li was not mentally fit to stand trial and could not have been mentally sound on that hot summer night near Portage where he destroyed the life and dignity of Tim McLean. Vince Li was found not criminally responsible and ever since then the Justice system has turned itself inside out to make it easy for Vince Li to re-enter society. First it was supervised visits to the town of Selkirk that houses the psychiatric institution he was confined to. That was followed by unescorted visits. Very soon he will be allowed to live in Winnipeg and have similar privileges, and some day soon in Winnipeg, Vince Li will be in a group home setting with almost no supervision and we will be asked to trust him to take the anti–psychotic medication that prevents him from finding and killing more victims. While there is no cure for his mental disorder, as long as he is medicated he is considered no threat to public safety.

Let’s tell the truth. If Vince Li had been declared Not Criminally Responsible for the death of Tim McLean but was forced to serve a life sentence in a psychiatric institution, most of us could live with that. But the idea that he is not criminally responsible and we are responsible for protecting and pampering Vince Li for the rest of his days - teaching him to speak better English, training him to improve his computer skills, while attacking anyone who opposes this treatment by declaring them insensitive to mental illness, is a package of insanity that forces us to call out. We call out those who pretend that Tim McLean has received justice, when he hasn’t. We call out those who pretend that it is safe to have Vince Li living among us when we know it isn’t. We side with Tim’s family who lost a son and with the family of a Mountie who lost a son who took his own life after having seen what he was forced to see while on duty near Portage nearly 7 years ago.

And finally let’s tell the truth about the mentally ill, most of whom struggle for a measure of dignity every day of their lives while posing a threat to nobody. Let’s call out those in the legal and mental health systems who insult the dignity of these people by making Vince Li their poster child. They deserve better than this. They have earned it with the lives they have lived. What has Vince Li earned? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

We don’t administer capital punishment in this country for fear that some innocent may end up getting the rope or needle. In the case of Vince Li, he didn’t even get convicted for something he did and our collective necks are put in the noose of humiliation that keeps getting squeezed every year at this time as officialdom reports to us about the progress being made by a monster now being referred to as a gentle soul. In the name of Tim McLean we hang our collective Canadian head in shame.

I’m Charles Adler

Please listen to my interview with Carol Dedelley, the mother of Tim McLean 

To listen to my monologue on this subject, please click on the link above.