Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pardon me, Karla Homolka

I've got some pretty black-and-white perspectives on justice, namely the fact that it simply doesn't exist in more cases than we could ever want to admit. Take Karla Homolka, who along with then-husband Paul Bernardo kidnapped, raped, tortured and murdered schoolgirls Leslie Mahaffey and Kristen French in 1991 and 1992, respectively. The two also raped and murdered Homolka's teenaged sister, Tammy, in 1990.

What makes an unimaginably bad situation worse is the fact that Karla Homolka cut a sweetheart deal with authorities in exchange for testifying against Bernardo. She plea bargained to a manslaughter charge and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Later, the discovery of a videotape of the crimes made it abundantly clear that she was far more than a passive participant, and she was hardly cowering under the thumb of monster.

She was released from prison in 2005 and has since skipped from community to community, moving when local residents find out this cretin is in their midst. She was back in the headlines this week when it became apparent that she could be on the verge of being pardoned for her crimes. National outrage quickly prompted the federal government to announce it would be introducing legislation to make it much more difficult to seek pardons.

Which is my long-winded way of wondering how freakishly inhuman souls like Homolka can ever be truly pardoned, and why we even grant them this right. It's the major-crimes equivalent of saying sorry and letting bygones be bygones. It doesn't work that way in my book, and I do hope there's a greater sense of justice for folks like Homolka in some future world. Because this world seems to make it all too easy for them to get away with murder.

Your turn: If the justice system is anything but just, what comfort can society offer the French and Mahaffey families, and others like them? Why do victims seem to get such short shrift so frustratingly often?

8 comments:

mark said...

Interesting thoughts. I always have felt that modern Society is too quick to, as you so aptly put it, let bygones be bygones. Fair trail -- fine. Innocent until proven guilty -- fine. Released a few years after being proven guilty -- huh?

On the other end of the spectrum is the staggering number of men exonerated by DNA evidence, after spending upwards of 25 years in prison -- in Dallas alone.

theMuddledMarketPlace said...

It is those very hard cases...that rip a nation's soul apart

All the words that end with a question mark come into play..and we have no answers
because we have no endings

Facing inhumanity
rawly facing the human face of horror
is somewhere most of us don't want to go/ couldn't go/ wouldn't go even if the salary was high enough

But the full and awful horror of a few innocent people being put to death were we in the UK to bring back the death penalty....is enough for me to never agree to its return.

It would always be someone's best friend/ brother/ sister/ mother / father/ uncle / aunt/ son /daughter
And it could be mine. Then how would i feel?

And i still feel that, even with our many high profile cases

But what do we do with the people if we have no death penalty?

Someone i love dearly reackons that a concrete bunker in the middle of the north sea with food dropped once a month is the answer....
maybe our government won't be agreeing to that anytime soon though.

David said...

aside: if I click those ads, do you get money???

hahamommy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hahamommy said...

It takes far more courage to say "I forgive you" than to hold a grudge. Nothing about forgiveness says what happened was good and right, it says the human connection between those of us still alive is imperative. Humans who are easily cast aside as "monsters" have already learned all they ever need to know from grudge-carrying, anger and violence (apparently they're great students); they now need to learn from the simple gift, which can only be given in love and faith, which is forgiveness. I have faith that humans never stop learning for as long as they're breathing. Here's a chance for a road not taken and it only takes a small shift in perspective...
I'm human, I have a long way to go my own self on this road of forgiveness (took a long time to forgive my husband for dying. from cancer!), though in my heart I believe that life IS for-giving <3
(grammar corrected ::bg::)

hahamommy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
From Tracie said...

I think that pardons, in the legal sense of the word, should only be granted in cases where the person has clearly proven to be innocent. Which is not the case with this scumbag.

If the families of the victims want to forgive, that is a beautiful thing, and I hope that they can find peace. But the safety of the rest of the country depends on keeping violent criminals away from society.

Pearl said...

it depends on your model. I didn't follow the case then or now. it was unavoidable to get the shape of details however.

is justice vengeance and unending punishment? or correction and change?

is only the death penalty sufficient? if one is to live under penalty of crimes forever, death penalty might be more ethical.