Dillan Butler is saying all the right things:he has changed, wants to move forward and be a productive member of society.
That’s great … and I really wish him all the best.
But has justice in BC been fairly served?
Butler is the guy who in 2008, after a confrontation between two groups of youths in an East Vancouver park, stabbed one 15-year-old FIVE TIMES …twice through ther heart… killing him instantly and then also stabbed another teenager several times.
Butler, 18, was arrested by police the next day and he then entered the BC justice system … or as some see it, the injustice system.
I was intrigued by a fine piece in The Province this weekend by Jordan Winnett and Jennifer Saltman outlining Butler’s progression through BC’s courts and incarceration..
Butler reportedly was originally charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder for his bloody rampage “after a night of heavy drinking and partying”.
Now the BC “justice” system could go to work in its so-often inept well-established criminal-friendly tradition.
Butler was allowed to plea bargain down to manslaughter in the case of the youth he murdered, and aggravated assault for the other teenager stabbed multiple times.
That was quite a big reduction in desgnation, considering the severity of the crimes committed! Butler did not stab these youths once or twice: he bludgeoned each several times.
Yet Butler benefitted substantially from the lower charges: SIX YEARS in prison for BOTH guilty pleas. For KILLING one person and MULTIPLE STABBING another.
And that six-year sentence was not the end of the farce. Remember, this is B.C.
So immediately, Butler was given DOUBLE CREDIT for the time he had already spent in custody before he was sentenced … cutting his federal prison sentence to only THREE YEARS!!!
And what makes me see this as all the more ridiculous is the unanswered question: If he was in custody from the day after the crime and plea-bargained down to a lesser charges … no trial …. why did it take A YEAR AND A HALF to get him to sentencing? And allow him to benefit SUBSTANTIALLY from that delay?
But even that wasn’t the end of it.
In the federal prison system, inmates are AUTOMATICALLY given a ONE-THIRD discount on their sentence. And, contrary to what of us think, that does not seem related to good behaviour either.
In custody, Butler was involved in “numerous fights”, broke institutional rules, was disrespectful to staff and spent much of his jail time in segregation…. enough troubles to get him transferred to maximum-security Kent institution.
Even the parole board, according to The Province, found Butler “still had an anti-social attitude, lacked remorse, and struggled to control his anger and impulsive behaviour”.
No problem! THIS is B.C. and Canada!
Butler is already out … on parole at a half-way house … and, frankly, I DO wish him well and success is staying away from booze and drugs and becoming a productive participant in society.
But what about Deeward Ponte?
Oh, who is Deeward Ponte? He’s the 15-year-old KILLED by Butler. What about justice for him? What about his mother? Father? Family?
And what about Clifford Mamuad … he’s the teen also stabbed several times, leading Butler to originally be charged with attempted murder in his case. His brush with death and his suffering seems almost to have been lost in the bigger case.
Seems to me they virtually overlooked/forgotten in the way the BC injustice (prosecutors, judges, prison system) handled this case.
And of course, they are not alone. The BC court system has long been GUILTY of failing to take into adequate account the victims of crime … despite YEARS of complaints from many citizens (seeking only justice not punishment in the extreme).
Would ANYONE whose child is attacked and had his or her life taken away think net three years in jail is justice or fair punishment for the killer, especially one who officials reported “lacked remorse”?
Where is the justice?