CBC Student Voice: Not Criminally Responsible or Dangerous Offender?

Photo taken by John Woods, Canadian Press

Photo taken by John Woods, Canadian Press

Over the past few weeks, Winnipeggers, Manitobans, and Canadians have been debating whether or not Vincent Li, the man who killed Tim McLean in 2008 but was found not criminally responsible, should be given greater independence and within the city of Winnipeg. Throughout this debate, there have been many misunderstandings of the concept of NCR, mental illness, schizophrenia.

Here is the report from CBC Manitoba describing the Criminal Code Review board’s decision to allow Li greater access and also the Federal Government’s response: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/vince-li-granted-unsupervised-outings-1.2554175

Shelly Glover, Manitoba’s most senior Member of Parliament, weighed in on February 28th: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/vince-li-s-new-freedoms-outrage-manitoba-mp-shelly-glover-1.2555600

But do our government and outraged members of the public understand the true nature of mental illness and the idea of NCR?

Here is Chris Summerville speaking about mental illness and schizophrenia at the most recent TEDxManitoba:

Here is a fascinating documentary form the CBC’s Fifth Estate on NCR: http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/episodes/2013-2014/the-man-who-hears-voices

Based on what you have read, heard, and watched, what do you think justice is in this particular case? Should Vincent Li be reintroduced into society or should he be locked up? Respond via Twitter using the hashtag #CBCStudentVoice and #VincentLi. (If you are in Mr. Henderson’s class, please also use #CCW2015 or #SJRLaw.) If you do not use Twitter, please leave a comment below. Be clear, use evidence, and be courteous.

Other Resources

CBC Manitoba: Offenders Deemed NCR Not Likely to Reoffend

Mary Agnes Welch (Winnipeg Free Press) Op-Ed

Dan Lett (Free Press) Op-Ed

Other Notable NCR Cases

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35 thoughts on “CBC Student Voice: Not Criminally Responsible or Dangerous Offender?

  1. Mental illness’ leave many people fighting daily battles, and sometimes certain actions can reflect those battles. The fact is Vince Li committed the “act” of murder, but the really it was the illness that overpowered more than he was capable of. He isn’t criminally responsible, but he needs help and shouldn’t be let out that easy or on his own. It’s clear he is very sick and needs treatment. For the sake of those who suffered because of his actions, he needs to be supervised because it is very easy for him to simply not take his medication or use his mental illness as an excuse to commit another murder. It’s really terrifying to think that a person like that is out on the street’s again, but we need to put forth some trust in our medical system and hope that this individual is recovering. Vince Li should definitely not be let off that easy, as it was the life of an individual he took. Mental health is a sickness just like diabetes, cancer, we all need help.

  2. Although I am a fan of second chances, I don’t believe this is one we should give. The cause of the first death was that he was off his medication. If he is left unsupervised, who is to say that wouldn’t happen again. Although according to the doctors he has been showing good results in the mental institution, that doesn’t mean the results will be the same if unsupervised. As DeDelley said “He poses no threat in care. I propose they keep him in care so he’s not a threat.” I believe this is an unnecessary risk that we shouldn’t take.

  3. The debate on this case is a long one which requires a proper understanding of the circumstances. As critical thinkers we cannot jump to conclusions and we must take all aspects into account. Vincent Li is a man who suffers from schizophrenia which is a mental illness that essentially when you have trouble living in all areas and creates disorder in ones life. Schizophrenia is not a curable mental illness but it can be treated with medication and by taking the required medication regularly someone with schizophrenia can become a regular member of society.

    At the time of the crime Vincent Li was off his medication and was not mentally stable. Vincent Li has been convicted as not criminally responsible due to his mental illness.

    The debate/concern on whether or not Vincent Li should be let back into society is an very complex case. Manitoba’s most senior member of parliament weighed in on the debate, Shelly Glover believes that the accused is in fact a criminal, HOWEVER, HOW CAN someone who has a mental disability and has troubles with thinking and hears voices in their head telling them to do something be a criminal when in his defence he wasn’t in the right state of mind without his medication and didn’t have the mens rea. Vincent Li never had the mental intention to behead Tim Mclean (victim). As my fellow student Shenom2 has stated above, “the illness overpowered more than he was capable of” and therefore Li was not held criminally responsible. The public is freaking out in fear that their safety is going to be threatened by having Li released back into society but as one of the above articles states you actually have a better chance of being struck by lightning than being attacked by a schizophrenic person.

    The public needs to educate themselves on people with mental illness as it a serious and difficult battle they face everyday. Vincent Li has been treated and gotten the care he needs and is doing much better as of today. People with schizophrenia are NOT criminals, they may be dangerous offenders and require some extra attention and check ups but someone like Vincent Li should have the right to be reintroduced into society.

  4. In my opinion, Vincent Li should be responsible for this crime and must be in the jail before he is completely healed. The reason is that although he didn’t mean to do that, he killed people and ate them, these are truths, and these tell us Li is a dangerous person. Some people might say that he has mental illness, but if we let him go back to the society, there is a posibility that he might do this kind of things again.For this reason, I think he needs to be in the jail.

  5. Vincent Li did kill Tim McLean in 2008. However Vincent Li, among many other Canadians, was a victim of the mental illness called Schizophrenia. He was found Not Criminally Responsible, because symptoms of his mental disorder influenced his behavior to the point that he did not appreciate what he was doing. He didn’t intend to hurt anyone. In my opinion, Vince Li should be given the right to walk the streets of Winnipeg. Just last month twitter, instagram and other social media sites broke out with the #BellLetsTalk in the effort to raise awareness for mental illness. I think that it is hypocritical for society to all of a sudden become afraid of someone, because he has a mental disorder. If Vince Li is on his medication he is stable enough to walk the streets of Winnipeg. He will have to report back to his group home on a daily basis to take his medications, and his psychiatrist has been assessing Vince Li for the past 7 years and have determined that he is not a threat when he is on his medication. Sometimes we have to trust the professionals.

  6. Although Vincent Li suffered from a mental illness, i think that he is criminally responsible and should be locked up. I would disagree if this was any other circumstance besides murder. I am aware that he couldn’t control himself but either way he should be punished. The law states that everyone is equal so even if they have a mental illness they should at least be isolated from society until doctors say they are able to come back. People would be afraid, if this man if walking the streets of Winnipeg because he could strike again at any moment. According to Chris Summerville, mental illness’s are treatable so in this case, get the help he needs and then be released but he should still pay the price for what he did.

  7. Vincent Li is a man who suffers from a mental disability called Schizophrenia. This is a disorder that is not curable, however it can be treated with medication that is taken regularly. Vincent Li was off his medication when he attacked Tim McLean. It was a very gruesome and vile murder. Li had voices in his head telling him to commit this crime.

    Since Vincent Li was off his medication and he, according to the courts, did not have the mes rea, he was found Not Criminally Responsible. He was not in the right state of mind. I do agree with the idea that he was Not Criminally Responsible. However, if he went off his medication once, why do we believe it wont happen again?

    Of course, Vincent Li did commit a terrible crime, and I do believe that he has made progress at the hospital in Selkirk where he has been staying. Nevertheless, mental illnesses are very serious. People who suffer from schizophrenia may not be held criminally responsible, but at the same time, they are dangerous and do commit crimes.

    I personally believe that it was reasonable for Vincent Li to not be held criminally responsible. At the same time, I believe that he should not be introduced into society in the city of Winnipeg. He should be kept in the hospital where he has been. This has seemed to help him quite a bit and its safe for him and others there. Having him in the open of the city of Winnipeg, there are many risks. There is a possibility that he will go of his medication, which has happened before, there is a chance that he will re commit, and there is a chance that his own life will be in danger because of the great amounts of people who do not support him.

    In the end, people who suffer from mental disabilities require aid. And that is what should be provided to Vincent Li.

  8. This case is a perfect example of a man who was not mentally stable, therefore he made the wrong decision, and unfortunately it ended up taking someone’s life. In several of these articles, it clearly states “Li killed this man, and then ate parts of his body”. These actions are clearly not moral or civil, however we have to realize that his brain does not function as well as the average person. In my opinion, this reminds me of youth crime in a way. As we are creating our infographics, we are starting to understand that youth’s brains are not fully developed, so therefore they do not make the best decisions. Vince Li evidently does not have a fully developed brain as he has schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder where you often hallucinate and see things that are not actually there.

    I personally believe that most criminals/murderers already have a mental disorder of some sort, so if we allow Li to go back into our society, will we have to allow several other “troubled” criminals back into our society? I believe no matter what the circumstances are, if you murder someone, you have to pay the price. Therefore I believe that Li must be locked up and not allowed back into our society.

  9. Mental illness is a wide range of medical conditions. It affects your mood and affects your thinking and what you see. Vince Li 6 years ago had stabbed and beheaded Tim McLean. Now Vince Li had schizophrenia, which is a disease which basically makes it hard to differ what is real and unreal. Since when he killed the poor man and cannibalised the man. He was off his medications at the time and was seeing hallucinations and heard voices. It is true that he did not have the Mes Rea to kill this man, but the next time he is off his medications how are we sure that he won’t murder another person? It is not his fault that he has schizophrenia, but everyone forgets to do something always once in a while. So if the law is suppose to make us feel safe and also has to respect if the murderer had the “guilty mind” how are we suppose to figure if Vince Li is guilty or not? Although a key factor plays in this subject. How much do the public know about mental illness? The public does not know about mental illness, all they know is one man with mental illness killed another man. Which makes the public think, people with mental illness equals crazy people. So in order for the public to realize the truth they have to learn. I think that the public is overreacting and should be educated about mental illness. They have to realize that even if this is dangerous we have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than getting attacked by a schizophrenia patient. So if we “educate” the public better we will have people who will understand why Vince Li is not guilty. The fact that he killed the man does matter, but when the “criminal” has mental illness it becomes whole lot different.

  10. The discussion surrounding Vincent Li is not whether or not he indeed murdered Tim McLean in 2008 on a bus to Winnipeg, but rather whether to let him back into our society. Li has a mental disorder called Schizophrenia, which cannot be cured be can be controlled and treated with the proper medication.

    At the time of the murder, Li was off his medicine and claimed to have heard voices telling him to commit the crime. This argument lead to the ruling of finding Li not criminally responsible because the lack of mens rea or lack of intent.

    Although it is a terrible thing that happened, I agree with the ruling that Li was not criminally responsible and I disagree with some of the comments made above. There were some claims saying that he should remain in jail until “he is completely healed” but as I stated above, Schizophrenia is not a disease that someone can just heal from. I believe that Li should have the freedom to live in Winnipeg with the rest of society, under a few conditions.

    Firstly, I believe that he must visit doctors regularly which will help him treat this awful disease and give him the proper prescriptions. Secondly, Li should have people checking up on him regularly as to make sure he is safe or even stay in a home with him so that they can ensure that he is on his medication as to prevent this from happening again.

    Just because some people in society are scared of having Li free to be living in the city of Winnipeg we cannot ignore his rights. He was found not criminally responsible and therefore should be able to be free. That being said we need to respect those peoples opinions which is what the conditions would be there for.

  11. Let’s all take a step back and look at the facts. Vincent Li went off his medication (intentionally or not) and committed a murder in our city. The man has a mental illness. He committed the crime due to this illness. It was not his choice. Unlike most criminals who apparently “all have a mental disorder,” like somebody previously had mentioned, Li was diagnosed with schizophrenia prior to the murder of Tim McLean.

    For one of our brothers in society, he should be treated with respect and feel as if he were a part of society once again. Regardless of who you are, you must recognize that this murder was unintentional which is why he is not criminally responsible. His improvements in rehabilitation have shown progress over the past seven years. This is a significant amount of time. Li has recognized what he has done and has been on his medication since the murder. The consistency of his mental stability is evident in the results of his doctors who believe he is stable to be in society. If we cannot trust the word of our own doctors, then who can we trust at all?

    Personally I believe that Mr. Li is a man who has had misfortune in his life. This has led to uncontrollable actions that has harmed our society. There are many people who do not think to consider why and how a person like this could re-enter society, but the truth is that this man is just like you and I; the only difference is that he has a mental disorder that only medication can help whereas we do not.

    I am in full support of bringing this man back into society because he is a man with the potential of being just another citizen in Winnipeg. If his doctors believe that he is stable enough for functioning in society then why should he be denied that opportunity? Not only is it morally correct to give a man back his life for a crime he was not criminally responsible for, but it is what I believe is the just thing to do for Mr. Vincent Li.

  12. Mental illness is a wide range of medical conditions. It affects your mood and affects your thinking and what you see. Vince Li 6 years ago had stabbed and beheaded Tim McLean. Now Vince Li had schizophrenia, which is a disease which basically makes it hard to differ what is real and unreal. When he killed the poor man and cannibalised the man, he was off his medications at the time and was seeing hallucinations and heard voices. It is true that he did not have the Mens Rea to kill this man, but the next time he is off his medications how are we sure that he won’t murder another person? It is not his fault that he has schizophrenia, but everyone forgets to do something always once in a while. So if the law is suppose to make us feel safe and also has to respect if the murderer had the “guilty mind” how are we suppose to figure if Vince Li is guilty or not? Although a key factor plays in this subject. How much do the public know about mental illness? The public does not know about mental illness, all they know is one man with mental illness killed another man. Which makes the public think, people with mental illness equals crazy people. So in order for the public to realize the truth they have to learn. I think that the public is overreacting and should be educated about mental illness. They have to realize that even if this is dangerous we have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than getting attacked by a schizophrenia patient. So if we “educate” the public better we will have people who will understand why Vince Li is not guilty. The fact that he killed the man does matter, but when the “criminal” has mental illness it becomes whole lot different. So I believe Vince Li is not guilty because he had no Mans Rea to kill this man. Also if the public feels unsafe they have to realize and be educated about mental illness. So as we learned in class, how we treat people reflects on our society. So I believe that we should treat Vince Li with calmness and not jump to conclusions.

  13. A human being with a stable mind wouldn’t just get up and behead, mutilate and cannibalize another passenger on a bus. Tim MacLean, a passenger on a greyhound bus and the victim of attack happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time for when one of Vince Li’s schizophrenic hallucinations and delusions were at an extreme. Vince Li, suffers from Schizophrenia and be-headed, mutilated and cannibalized Tim MacLean on a Greyhound bus. Li was deemed not criminally responsible (NCR) for his gruesome actions and after years of being securely monitored and medicated by doctors is being released back into society. I completely disagree with this. Vincent Li is a murderer and justice should be served. To even have the thought of not only stabbing someone, but then cutting their entire head off, and THEN eating them, this man needs to be kept detained from the public where he poses a threat to. For people who want a murderer and cannibal walking back on the streets of Winnipeg, sure, why don’t you just invite him over for dinner, i’m sure he will enjoy eating your dinner and you as well. He has done it before, what is going to stop him from doing it again?

  14. On July 29, 2008 Vince Li murdered, beheaded, and ate parts of Tim McLean on a Greyhound bus. In trial Vince Li plead NCR (not criminally responsible). NCR means the accused did not have the necessary mens rea for the crime. This may seem strange until you realize that Vince Li has an mental illness called Schizophrenia that makes him hear voices that tell him what to do. During the crime Vince Li was not on his medication for his Schizophrenia. He was deemed not criminally responsible due to his disease but was put in the Selkirk Mental Heath Care Centre.

    Lets see the two sides to this story. The replies above can be mainly divided into two sides:
    1-that Vince Li should be not released because he is a risk to society due to being a dangerous offender and
    2-that Vince Li should be released because the doctors say he is ready to be free once more and because he was NCR

    First off I agree with the judge’s decision that Vince Li was NCR. He, according the psychiatrist’s statement, Li “heard voices from God” that told him to kill McLean. Due to Vince Li’s mental state he did not have the necessary mens rea to be held criminally responsible for the crime.

    Though I do believe that the likelihood of Vince Li recommitting the crime are small, they are still there. The whole event was caused by Vince Li not taking his medication. The sites I searched didn’t tell me why he wasn’t taking his medication but I assume he may have forgot to refill them or something on those lines (i.e. it probably wasn’t deliberate). If Vince Li forgets to take his medicine once, this event could happen again which I find is a big problem. I don’t believe he should spend his life in a Health Care Centre for his crime but maybe he should weekly check into a clinic to make sure he is medicated.

    The other biggest problem is that people outraged by the decision to let Vince Li free may want their own “justice” if they felt they were denied it. Vince Li will be on his own and there will be no one there to protect him if someone decides to harm him. He should just be wary that his freedom may lead to harm but it is ultimately his choice whether he wants to stay or be free.

    Though some people may be outraged, I do believe that Vince should be let out BUT I think he should check up weekly to make sure he is still taking his medication and isn’t a threat to anyone so he can become a functioning member of society.

  15. Vincent Li is a man who struggles with the mental illness known as schizophrenia. This disease although not curable is treatable. He killed Tim Mclean by beheading him on a Greyhound bus about 7 years ago. He is now gaining more freedom and is going to be slowly reintroduced into society. This meaning there will eventually be days where he will go unsupervised. Although he was held not criminally responsible for the murder of Tim Mclean due to his mental illness, it still happened. Other people were affected and angered by what he did although it was not really his fault, people blame him for it and that makes him a target.

    In my opinion Vincent Li should not be allowed to receive the unsupervised outings, that he will eventually get with this arrangement. I do not believe this because he will be harmful to society. He has displayed to professionals at the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society that he can be brought back into the “real world” and not harm others. Chris Summerville, the director of the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society said that “he’s done so wonderfully well as a patient”. This leads me to believe that if professionals and doctors that treated Vincent Li believe that he is ready to come back into society, than he is.

    However this does not mean that society is ready for him to come back. I do believe Vincent Li would not reoffend, however I also believe that he would be in serious danger of others that do not like him for what his mental illness caused him to do.This is not a risk that should be taken. With him receiving unsupervised time this is also unprotected time. If someone isn’t watching him, someone is also not protecting him and that is not fair to him.

    I do believe that Vincent Li deserves to be reintroduced into society as he is not a criminal and has displayed that he has rehabilitated and will be able to live among others. However I simply believe that there are too many risks that he would be subjected to if he were to embark on an unsupervised outing.

  16. Not Criminally Responsible or Dangerous Offender?

    “When you are mad, mad like this, you don’t know it. Reality is what you see. When what you see shifts, departing from anyone else’s reality, it’s still reality to you.” This inspirational quote by Marya Hornbacher depicts that many poor individuals living with a mental illness face each and every day. In the case involving the murder of Tim Mclean, I believe that Vince Li should sadly not be granted the ability to placed in the public unsupervised. Even though Vince Li has been to a mental hospital for treatment for Schizophrenia there is still a slight risk that these sort of actions could happen again. In addition, If he is introduced to the public there is a considerable chance that he would somewhat forget to take his medicine which could react to form an incident similar to what happened in 2008. I think, to introduce Li to the public supervision of all Li’s actions should carried out until Li is able to properly take his medications without the help of others. Like Marya Hornbacher stated it’s very hard for people with severe mental conditions like Vince Li to make decisions. But in this debate it comes down to Vince Li’s rights and the safety of others. Based on the evidence presented, I believe that the safety of other outweighs Vince Li’s rights.

  17. The extremely thoughtful responses in this blog are truly impressive. However, as a psychiatrist, I would like to emphasize that the question of whether an individual with a significant delusional psychiatric condition should be punished in the traditional criminal system is no longer a serious question among cognitive science (and judicial) experts. Akin to the climate change debate, the question only exists among ignorant people (and the media and politicians who pander to that ignorant segment of society). Even educated people in the 18th century intuitively understood this issue despite the lack of 21st century science. For example, in 1796, King George III was attacked with a cake knife by a psychotic woman – and he urged his guards to take the woman to London’s Bethlem Royal Hospital. The public should, of course, have input regarding the question of how much risk they are willing to personally tolerate from a potentially dangerous person; but even so, they must be properly informed about the meaning of that risk and how that risk compares to other mundane activities such as driving to cottage country (much more dangerous than being attacked by a psychotic person). As many bloggers have already pointed out, all of us are capable of regrettable behaviours due to brain dysfunction beyond our control. It is true that sometimes there are grey areas where the experts don’t agree, however, in the Vince Li case, all of the experts were in agreement that he was NCR (both Crown and the defence).

  18. Vincent Li is a man that suffers from a mental illness called schizophrenia. While having one of his “episodes” he ended up beheading Tim McLean on a Greyhound bus. After this tragic incident, that Mr. Li had no recollection of, he was, and still is, heavily scrutinized by the public. He has been deemed not criminally responsible (NCR). Therefore, he is being reintegrated into the Winnipeg society WHILE being constantly looked after and ultimately being one of the most heavily surveillance-d Canadian. Thus, I believe Vincent Li should be allowed to live a life outside of jail.

    I believe this because while the Actus Reus for his actions is there the Mens Rea is certainly not. The crime in the first place happened because Vincent Li neglected to take his medication which compelled him to commit the crime. While him not taking his medication is on his concision, he does feel guilt for his actions. Also, doctors have deemed him stable and reaffirmed the public’s minds’ that Mr. Li greatly regrets his decisions. Therefore I don’t think he while re-offend and the chances are even lower due to the fact that he is going to be under constant care.

    We have to look at the fact that 1 out of every 5 Canadians has a form of mental illness. Society’s hot topic is always helping does with mental illnesses get better. But while we greatly discuss these matters the stigma, especially through the media, is elevating. Does this mean that we are going to treat the 1 out of 8 men over the age of 25 that develop schizophrenia as possible murders and shun them from society. What will become of us if we abandon our “problems” instead of helping them. These are people like you and I that need to be looked after and taken care of. What if your loved ones developed schizophrenia, and you opted to love them instead of fearing them, then would you be comfortable with having society treat him the way Vincent Li is getting treated?

    It seems that the main issue in this growing problem is the fear Winnipegers have. Many of us are looking at Vincent Li as the uncontrollable killing machine. People are afraid of having him as a neighbour. Especially because this he is a head case. The human mind is unpredictable, something that isn’t easily controlled, and no one knows the certainty of what can happen next. But we need to look at the fact that Mr. Li had already been strolling on our streets after the incident. He had been granted on occasions to take supervised and once-in-a-while unsupervised walks around our city. What does this have to say? A LOT since no incident occurred and everyone was happy but suddenly with out knowledge of his release we automatically panic.

    Now, since he is NCR, he can not be convicted so, the only option is for him to reintegrate into society. This is the only justice in this case and still Vincent Li is getting a lot of hate from the public. I believe the doctors have proven and did their best to sedate the fears in people’s minds. I’m not saying that we have to feel comfortable with the acknowledgment of what he had done but we shouldn’t fear him and need to move forward from the 2008 incident. It just surprises me that people constantly tell me to concur my fears and take a stand while they themselves let fear rule them and start outrages.

  19. In my opinion, Vincent Li should have responsible for this crime. Even though he had mental illness, and in his own mind, he didn’t want to do that, but he still did something really wrong, like killed people and ate them. Those are true, this kind of excuse could not be the reason that he don’t need to have responsible for this crime. If we let him go back to normal ambient, he will kill more people and say I was not deliberate. Someone would think that Vincent Li had mental illness, and he couldn’t control his body sometimes, he shouldn’t be arrest. If we allow all of the mental illness people to homicide someone and don’t let them to have responsible for those crimes, is it safe for other normal human to live in this society? Should we allow this kind of things in our society? Of course not. For this reason, I think he should stay in jail until he be cured.

  20. I believe that Vince Li should be allowed to re-enter society, although to be under high security and watch. It would be very easy for him to not take his medicine again, and to do something similar to the beheading of Tim McLean by simply forgetting to take his medication. This crime was during an episode of schizophrenia. Vincent Li has a mental illness and is not criminally responsible because he did not know what he was doing at the time, therefore, should not be held responsible for the action. Vince Li can become very dangerous very easily if he is allowed back into society unsupervised. However I do agree with Vincent Li going to a place where he can be supervised, or to have someone or some people constantly with him, making sure they do everything possible to keep him and the others around him safe.

  21. The outrage over the decision to give Victor Li greater independence shows the lack of education within Canadian society on mental illness. Otherwise, critics would agree that in order for justice to reign, Victor Li needs to be given independence and his human rights need to be maintained.
    Primarily, Canadians need to understand the terms of this decision. The conditions of Victor’s independence are that LI will be allowed unsupervised trips to the city of Selkirk that would for now be 30 minutes in length. For outings in Winnipeg, Lockport and nearby beaches, Li would be able to travel unsupervised with a group of other people. The Criminal Code Review Board granted new freedoms that had been requested by a psychiatric team, professionals who had been treating and studying Li’s illness for six years. More importantly, they are professionals in the field of psychiatry and neurology, and have a deep understanding on the illness and how it can be treated. Dr. Steven Kremer, Li’s lead psychiatrist even went to the lengths of calling him a “model, non-violent patient”.
    The response from those opposing the decision has been unsurprisingly severe. The most outlandish response has come from Carol DeDelley, the victim’s mother who said, “A killer is a killer is a killer, even if they are mentally ill”. While it is understanding that she would want justice for her son’s untimely death, this is not however the way to achieve it.
    The way society decides to treat Victor Li will determine the way we treat all NCR cases. Maintaining the rights and independence of people with mental illness will help reduce the stigma against 20% of Canadians, who experience mental illness in their lifetime and will broaden the understanding of Canadians on mental illness. This education will hopefully prevent crimes of this nature in the future by bringing attention to the way mental illness is viewed and dealt with in this country. In order to achieve justice in this case, Victor Li must be treated like any other human being.

  22. In all the cases from Will Arenburg to Vince Li, there was a connection, none of these people got the help they needed in their darkest times, no matter if they chose not to get help or nobody cared. I don’t think the NCR policy needs to be changed because that is not where the problem begins it starts with the people of Canada. If we could do more or even bother to be aware of this growing issue, than there would probably be a much smaller chance of problems like this occurring in the first place. Even William Arenburg said himself that he killed Brian Smith because he wanted to bring attention to the f*#king Bullsh%t he was going through. The same goes for Vince Li. He shouldn’t be lock up forever because as long as he is taking his medicine than he wont have bursts of Schizophrenia like what happened to him. As a nation , I believe we need to stop whining about “NCR” and focus on what causes the issue in the first place.

  23. Vincent Li was found Not Criminally Responsible, no he shouldn’t be punished harshly just because he has a mental illness. He should be taken to a psychiatric prison where he can have therapists and medications for him to get better and potentially re-integrate him into society. I think that people have to realize that he didn’t know what he was doing, he was hallucinating and was suffering from schizophrenia. But rather than letting him come back into society right away he should be put into a psychiatric prison to get better first. If you don’t know what your doing because of a mental illness why should you be locked up like someone who actually wanted to do this.

  24. Our judicial system’s main goal is, arguably, to rehabilitate citizens in order to eventually attempt to make them a functioning part of our society. In the case of Victor Li, this is what our justice system is trying to do in this case, and we should all applaud that.

  25. Our judicial system’s main goal is, arguably, to rehabilitate citizens in order to eventually attempt to make them a functioning part of our society. In the case of Victor Li, this is what our justice system is trying to do in this case, and we should all applaud that.

    When Victor Li beheaded a man on a greyhound bus, he thought he was doing it for self defence due to voices in his head. These voices were due to his mental illness that is schizophrenia. Because of this illness, he simply does not have the proper Mens Rea to actually be criminal responsible for his actions…”the question of whether an individual with a significant delusional psychiatric condition should be punished in the traditional criminal system is no longer a serious question among cognitive science (and judicial) experts”, says Joseph Polimeni above.

    Now that we know that for sure, what comes next? We must ask ourselves how we can properly rehabilitate him in order to make him a successful part of our society as that is the main goal. The slow integration back into society as well as the long term monitoring of his use of medication is what I think will be the most important thing.

    Victor Li has an illness. He has a treatable mental illness. As long as that illness is being treated, there is no reason why he should not be allowed back into our equal society.

  26. For my opinion,Vincent Li should be put into jail.Because he did kill a person and ate them,its doesn’t matter he meant to do that or no,he just did it,which means that he could do that again.We also know he has mental illness,but what if it happen again?Who can promise that it wont happen?If we dont out him in jail,he could kill more people.So i think we should put him into jail and make sure he wont kill someone else.

  27. Let’s take a look at some of the contradictions that we can see if we don’t charge this man NCR. Mainly, we are denying science and what we know as experts.
    If we don’t trust the experts on the subject, then who can we trust? I don’t know better than any expert and I’m not sure than any ordinary bystander would either because of the fact that they are simply not educated in that faculty.
    Furthermore, if we look at this in a public-eyed perspective, then we are taking away the rights of Vince Li himself.
    Let me explain. All people have the right to a lawyer in a court of law, if they feel they need it and can afford it. But let’s replace the word lawyer with the word, professional as they are, to an extent, interchangeable. Now, assuming this, direct your eyes in the area of scientists. They are always doing hours of research to further understand all subjects whether it’d be technology or earth sciences, or perhaps neuroscience?
    Yes, by implementing a court case, we are defying the hypothetical, presumed rights of a man that has only offended once and has a significantly less chance of reoffending because we are disregarding the professional, scientific explanation of an expert who declared he is NCR. Frankly, this seems a bit undemocratic.
    Not to mention a key point, we can already see that this seems wrong. So let’s look at this point. The first steps to be held under the burden of proof of indictable offences we need to prove two things: one, the Actus Reus (act of committing the crime) and two, the Mens Rea (intentionally committing the crime).
    Also we must look at the type of sentences. First degree murder can only be charged if the attacker had staged the crime so that they deliberately planned before hand. This would require the Mens Rea, which clearly, was not proven.
    Moreover, second degree murder is intentional harm but non-premeditated murder. This could be a possibility because it takes away the Mens Rea to an extent. However, looking at third degree murder (also known as manslaughter), means that you probably did kill the person, however the Mens Rea is taken away completely.
    Being a Schizophrenic, Li would not have been in control of his actions at the time, therefore, we could even see that it may not even been his fault to kill the man.
    This takes away the Actus Reus and the Mens Rea, so now we have come to a dead end.
    We have eradicated all three alleged forms of murder charged in using judicial analysis and have the science to back up the analysis if needed so.
    I think that now, we have come to a halt where we have no other choice to declare Mr. Li not criminally responsible and if I were to go more into the facts, then it would be even more clear.
    Thus, I strongly believe that Mr. Li would be charged not criminally responsible.

  28. If we seek for the source which cause the crime , it is his mental disease or s sort of disability. Further, his mental disability asks for control and monitoring from community to himself. His acknowledge to his disease requires he accept this monitoring on the same way. As the analysis those specialists did, his crime is caused by his disease, but the issue is if he actually recognized his mental disease before he did the crime, and had he ever asked for help from relevant organization? Once he recognized it, did he put himself under the monitoring of community or medical organizations? Did those organizations monitor his actions as support?
    Whatever answers to those questions I ask are “yes” or “no”, Vincent Li, as a psychopath. has no conscious to what he does sometimes. The process he turns into this situation, happens in sub-consciousness. That means only adult around him can recognize his symptom. Therefore, it is required people take care of him, but I think this care is not in our citizen responsibility, we cannot force people focus on a psychopath’s behaviour whole day. That’s why we need government’s ability of organizing to form a system to monitor psychopaths in order to protect civilian rules and safety. In 1960s, the trend of deinstitutionalization of asylum monitor system was popular in psychiatry. The WHO advocated the idea of “Community Based Rehablitation.” So the idea has existed, the system has existed. Vincent Li is a leak in this system. Logically, the target should be punished is not himself but the system. But how do we punish a system which is running as a part of society? We cannot expect the answer to that question, but our judgement to Vincent Li can be certain from this question. He doesn’t needs to take charge of it. It was the fault of a leak on our society. Therefore, in my opinion, although he doesn’t needs to be charged for it, we are required to limit his personal liberty more or less.

  29. Lets take a step back here. Vincent li commit a vicious murder. It is true that Vincent li was not found criminally responsibly but when you look at the situation as a whole does it really matter. We all understand that at the time he was not on his medication which was a huge factor but if we let him come back into our society how do we know this wont happen again. If he forgets or purposely does not take his pills something like this will happen again. How would you feel, being locked up for 7 years and being forced to do something everyday. After you get out, would you want to continue doing that same thing you did when you were locked up everyday for the rest of your life, I am sure you would all agree with me that you would not want to:You would want to continue off where you left off. Take prisoners for an example. After they get out of prison they don’t know what to do. Because of this a majority of them just continue their life of crime. This same type of scenario can happen to Vincent li. Is that what we all want?

  30. As someone how lives in Winnipeg I am slightly concerned about how Vince Li’s return to Winnipeg will impact us, but looking at this case from an outsider’s perspective helped me see that his return to normal life wouldn’t effect the normal citizen at. There is a stigma that is often arises when a case like Vince Li’s comes up even though as we are trying to fight the negative views on mental illness. Vince Li is effected with schizophrenia and he didn’t take his medication which led him to kill Tim McLean in 2008. He heard voices in his head to kill him so he did, it was out of his control so he was NCR. It concerns me that so many people are scared of Mr. Li’s return to Winnipeg when they don’t take a step back and see that one in five adult Canadians or 4.5 million Canadians suffer from a mental illness (CHMA). There are millions of Canadians that are dealing with mental illness and they are are roaming free in Canada in most cases. How is Vince Li different from anyone living in Canada? Everyone makes mistakes but they aren’t used against them. People with anorexia, depression, anxiety all have mental illnesses yet they all walk free in society with out people protesting. So How is Vince Li any different?

  31. As someone who lives in Winnipeg I am slightly concerned about how Vince Li’s return to Winnipeg will impact us.But looking at this case from an outsider’s perspective helped me see that his return to normal life wouldn’t effect the normal citizen at all. There is a stigma that often arises when a case like Vince Li’s comes up even though as we are trying to fight the negative views on mental illness. Vince Li is effected with schizophrenia and he didn’t take his medication which led him to kill Tim McLean in 2008. It was out of his control so he was NCR. It concerns me that so many people are scared of Mr. Li’s return to Winnipeg when they don’t take a step back and see that one in five adult Canadians or 4.5 million Canadians suffer from a mental illness (CHMA). There are millions of Canadians that are dealing with mental illness and they are are roaming free in Canada in most cases. How is Vince Li different from anyone living in Canada? Everyone makes mistakes but their mistakes aren’t used against them. People with anorexia, depression, anxiety all have mental illnesses yet they all walk free in society with out people protesting. So How is Vince Li any different?

  32. Let us all take a look of the facts in this case. According to numerous scientists and psychiatrists, Vincent Li is not criminally responsible for the murder of Tim McLean due to the simple fact that his mental illness issue has led him to hear voices which directly triggered him to commit assault and murdered McLean. However in some sense, I believe he is slightly responsible for not taking his given medications on a regular basis. Nevertheless, Vincent Li is a mentally ill patient that should be treated with proper medication and be inspected by hospital staffs instead of being treated as a dangerous murder. His doctor has already indicated that Vincent Li has been in a good condition that almost definite will not be a threat to the public safety. To ensure the public, Vincent Li should be heavily watched by either police officers or the hospital staffs. Otherwise, it will be considered as “unfair” to the family members of the victim and their lose.

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