The debate of death

An age-old debate has been sparked back to life by the father of murdered Vancouver Island teen, Kimberly Proctor, calling for the return of the death penalty to Canada.

An age-old debate has been sparked back to life by the father of murdered Vancouver Island teen, Kimberly Proctor, calling for the return of the death penalty to Canada.

This father’s pain is understandably palpable. His innocent daughter, a beautiful young woman of only 18, was killed in the most premeditated and vicious of ways by two soulless monsters.

Court-ordered psychiatric and psychological reports on the killers — who were 16 and 17 at the time of the murder last March — show there is little chance that Cameron Alexander Moffat, now 19, and Kruse Hendrik Wellwood, 17, can be rehabilitated and are at a high risk to re-offend violently and sexually for up to 40 years.

Kimberly’s father, Fred Proctor, calls any treatment and rehabilitation efforts of the two murderers to be a waste of time and resources.

And who can blame him?

With vicious dogs, we don’t allow them a second chance to bite a child. On the farm, when an animal starts to get mean, we put it down without question or remorse before someone gets injured or maimed. But with humans, we like to think they can be saved or redeemed. That’s why Canada abolished the death penalty from the Criminal Code in 1976 — although, the last people actually hanged in this country was back in 1962.

In my youth, I would have eagerly argued for the humanist side of the coin and pointed out the studies and research that claim to show how the death penalty is ineffective at preventing murder.

But time — and the numbing exposure to humanity’s underbelly — has a way of roughing up one’s edges until the only statistic that holds any truth is that a dead murderer, just like that vicious dog, can’t hurt anyone else, ever again.

What Moffat and Wellwood did to Kimberly moved them over the line of being treated as human and into the realm of beast.

I can only imagine the intensity of Fred Proctor’s pain. I also happen to believe that putting his daughter’s killers to death would do little to ease it, but as a father myself I certainly can’t blame him for wanting justice.

I’m not yet willing to lobby for the return of the death penalty, but I know that if I were in Fred Proctor’s shoes, I would don the hangman’s hood myself. M

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