Justice delayed is justice denied. -- William Gladstone
Any parent will tell you how frustrating it is to hear incessant "Are we
there yet?" when on a road trip. More people should be saying something like
that when it comes to the not-so-swift prosecution of criminals, particularly
ones who are accused of heinous deeds.
In the following examples, I have not given any names because I believe the
names of people who commit such atrocities should be forgotten.
The preliminary hearing has just wrapped up for the person who was charged in
2012 with the dismemberment of a Chinese student and mailing his body parts
across the country. The trial will not take place until the autumn of
For the accused in a 2009 case of three womens' bodies found in
their submerged car, two years and three months elapsed between the arrests and
the start of the trial.
For the lowlife who was charged in 2002 in connection with the disappearance
of dozens of women in Vancouver, it was almost FIVE YEARS before his murder
Several articles that I researched cited the following reasons for such
1. Invocation of the accused's right to a preliminary hearing.
Availability of court facilities, the judge, lawyers, and witnesses.
selection and availability of jurors.
4. It's to everyone's interest to wait
until emotions have cooled down.
These are good reasons to be sure, but still, can't there be steps taken to
reduce the waiting time?
Yes, we all know that the court system is overloaded. However it's inhumane
to force the victims' families to suffer with their anger and grief for
prolonged periods of time until receiving the closure of a verdict. Also, the
longer the time between the event and the trial, the more likely the memories of
any witnesses will become blurred. (Defense lawyers know this, and will take
full advantage of the fact.)
My mother-in-law has a simple solution. If there was incontrovertible
evidence that a person committed a serious crime such as murder, rape, or child
abuse, then just dispense with the trial and shoot them on the spot. Or drop
them in Antarctica in the dead of winter. In her world, overpopulation would
not be a problem.
I know that's extreme, but realistically, some of these criminals do not
deserve a roof over their heads and three meals a day at the expense of law-abiding