Do you avoid the details of difficult murder trials?
The judge in the Victoria Stafford murder case, which got underway March 5, has acknowledged that the trial will be long and difficult.
Judge Thomas Heeney warned the jury that much of the evidence against Michael Rafferty, 31, who is charged with sexually assaulting and killing the third grader, could be considered "graphic and disturbing."
Victoria (Tori), 8, was abducted outside her school in Woodstock, Ont., in April 2009.
The trial, which is expected to last several months, and has attracted much media coverage and public attention.
But many people, including journalists like Matt Galloway, the host of CBC Toronto's Metro Morning, avoid coverage of difficult murder cases altogether.
"I can't read these stories. I just can't put myself through that," Galloway said during an interview with Toronto-based lawyer Tim Danson.
Danson, who represented the victims' families during the gruesome 1995 trial of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, acknowledged that these types of trials are "excruciating" and of "unspeakable and unimaginable horror."
Still, he spoke of the need to air out the truth, as difficult as it is, and the importance of adhering to the open court principle, which he said ensures that justice is carried out.
"If you start setting up a rule of sanitizing the facts so that the public doesn't really know exactly what happened then you're not in a position to evaluate the administration of justice," he said.
Listeners took to Metro Morning's Facebook page to weigh in on the subject. Many said they would rather look away.
- "I often turn the volume on my radio right down when CBC reports on details of child abuse or murder. If I don't turn it down I end up being sad and depressed all day and I become paranoid about the safety of my own children." - Suzanne Simon
- "I truly see no value in publishing the details, gives these people more attention and makes this tragedy a sideshow for people to gawk at." - Rosanne Natale
- "The only people who need to hear the details are the jury, the judge and if they so choose, Tori's family. Give the poor child some dignity and allow the last hours of her life to be private." - Trish Krause
- "I listen, I read, and I throw all my sympathies and support towards that beautiful little girl's immediate family as I can't imagine the pain and suffering they are going through, but at least I can try by not denying or turning my back on the reality of the situation. After all, this could happen to any of us!" - Dorothy Dot
- "I may agree that media goes over the top, but this is part of the justice system. The fifth estate keeps government and the judiciary honest. So we may not always like what we hear but it's part of having a free and open society." - Jack Brooks
- "It isn't about glorifying what happened or disrespecting the families, just about being aware. I too sometimes stay away from the news or certain aspects of it but wouldn't want to lose the access to that information and the option to know." - Saira Hyder
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
More entries for category: Community
Meet the Community Team
CBC News Community team, from left to right: Andrew Yates, Andrea Lee-Greenberg, Lauren O'Neil, John Bowman
If you're part of the CBC News community, you're likely to meet one of us: we're the folks working to produce and promote your stories. Read more about us.
More Your Community Entries
- 2012 (1150)
- Online dater sends out awkward post-date survey
- Should Nik Wallenda use a safety device to cross Niagara Falls?
- May photo contest: Fun Veggies
- How much would you pay for your own Tyrannosaurus?
- Canada's yearbook: Send us your graduation photo
- Should the Quebec government suspend classes?
- Should a sex exhibit be pulled from Ottawa's science museum?
- Skechers ordered to pay $40M over deceptive 'Shape-ups' ads
- CBC's Derek Stoffel on staying professional and stomaching injustice
- Hungry man protests all-you-can-eat restaurant
- Should government seek clemency for Canadians on death row?
- Ugly Meter app worries cyber bullying activists
- And the winner of our April showers photo contest is...
- What would you add to Avery Canahuati's bucket list?
- Who is Titanic II backer Clive Palmer?
- Trending April 30: Titanic II, Conrad Black
- Should Conrad Black regain his Canadian citizenship?
- CBC's David McKie on investigative reporting
- Should rooftop missiles be installed for London Olympics security?
- Obama and Kimmel high-five at White House Correspondents' Dinner
- March photo contest: the winner!
- Shatner-hosted 2012 Juno Awards inspire fanfare
- 10 readers share their Katimavik stories
- Katimavik defended 26 years after Hébert hunger strike
- Earth Hour, Mega Millions, angry 'Beliebers' in morning trends
- Maple syrup hoarders prepare for shortage
- Top 5 at 5: CBC North
- Would bigger tax exemptions encourage you to shop across the border?
- What were your happiest years?
- Should charities lose their status for protesting?
- Community reaction to the Pierre Poutine revelations
- Top 5 at 5: Business stories
- Lady Gaga and Oprah Winfrey launch anti-bullying foundation
- Davy Jones honoured by fans on social media
- February photo contest: the winner!
- Women take the leap and propose marriage on Feb. 29
- Community reaction to closing of high Arctic lab
- Would you freeze-dry a deceased pet?
- U.S. storm watchers swap stories on social media
- Should Canada create an asbestos registry?
- January photo contest: the winner
- Top 5 at 5: Montreal stories
- Should Peru's uncontacted tribes be left alone?
- Is Ashton Kutcher right to block journalists from his Twitter feed?
- Would you wear Dress Pant Sweatpants in your workplace?
- Where do you donate your used clothing?
- Could a UN resolution help end Syria's unrest?
- Top 5 at 5: Politics stories
- Do you trust a camel that predicts Super Bowl winners?
- Community reaction to the Shafia trial verdict
- May (102)