Community reaction to senator's comment on murderers
Sen. Pierre-Huhues Boisvenu's controversial comments about having ropes in the prison cells of convicted killers prompted a massive response from the CBC Community.
"Basically I think that every murderer should have a rope in his cell and he can decide on his own life. But I'm against the death penalty," Boisvenu said Wednesday, in French, citing convicted murderers such as Clifford Olson.
His office issued a statement Wednesday afternoon to say a comment he made earlier in the day to reporters was "inappropriate" and that he regrets not clarifying his views on repeat criminals.
The statement didn't stop readers online from reacting, however. CBCNews.ca community members had posted more than 2,200 by midday Thursday, with many discussing whether the senator's comments were appropriate, among other things.
Some readers blasted Boisvenu's comments, saying it was out of line to suggest that convicted criminals should be given the means to commit suicide. A few brought up parallels to the discussion surrounding assisted suicide for the terminally ill.
- "What a stupid and irresponsible and disgusting statement." - statisticus
- "This man is letting his personal life interfere with his political life and should be chastised by his party leader. It reflects poorly on the entire party." - Fete Chef
- "So convicted murderers should have the right to die, but not the chronically or terminally ill?" - microlith
- "There should never be a death penalty in Canada ever.... PERIOD." - happycat993
- "Gee, give the convicted killer the option to 'opt out'? Why would any person not see this as a win-win?" - Mr Right 2U
- "Why apologize for your comments? I feel the same way!" - Capital City
- "I know I would prefer death to life in prison, no question. I think convicted murderers, rapists, etc, should be given the choice between lethal injection and life sentences in such situations. What is the point of confining a person to a jail for the rest of their life, where they are neither productive nor happy, when they themselves would prefer an easy out? But, like I said, it should be voluntary." - LucRob
- "Given what he and his family have been through, I don't blame him for feeling this way. I'm just wondering if he is best suited to make rational decisions with regards to the omnibus crime bill." - SolarFlarez
- "I wonder if someone whose child has been murdered should be sitting on a committee that is studying criminal law. I would think it very difficult for them to bring an open mind to many of the issues being studied." - sinicalboy
- "Couldn't he also bring perspective that others don't have? Maybe that's why victims' rights have been ignored for so long." - John Paulo
- "I would say his perspective should be and must be heard, however, I would suggest it would be more appropriate for him to provide his perspective as a witness before the committee, rather than as a full-time member." - sinicalboy
- "Our justice system tries, to the best of its capacity, to objectively determine if the accused is guilty or not. And yes, it makes mistakes, in both directions. But by default, we are all innocent. Is that not a good thing? What kind of society would we be if this presumption is lifted?" - sph123
Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Boisvenu to the Senate in 2010.
- "I don't want to pay for Sen. Boisvenu's salary or the salaries of any other Senator. None of them were elected by the people and they don't represent the people...I do believe it is possible to create a working Senate, but the Senate in its current form does not, in my opinion, work in the best interests of Canadians." - truth2000
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