Poor Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu
He really stepped into it this week.
We all make mistakes. Trouble is, Boisvenu kept making them all week. And he shows no sign of easing up.
He wants us to put hanging ropes in the prison cells of convicted serial killers to incite them to hang themselves. We could save millions of dollars in jail costs over their life-time, he figures.
Weird thinking coming from a supposedly sober-second-thought man in the Upper House. It was Stephen Harper who put him in there at $134,000 a year after he helped Harper abolish the gun registry in Canada.
Bloisvenu’s figures serial killers are torn by remorse and might want to kill themselves. It doesn’t work that way. There is no scientific or anecdotal evidence that this happens. In fact, the trouble with most murderers is that it’s always somebody else’s fault, and in their own minds, they are never guilty. Remorse? It’s not in their dictionary.
Most prisoners who kill themselves are suffering from mental illness. It’s mental illness, not remorse, that drives them to suicide, or they do it after losing their appeal, or because they feel nobody believes they are innocent.
What the senator hasn’t figured out yet is that under Section 481 of the Criminal Code it’s a crime to incite somebody to commit suicide.
Giving someone a rope to do it, is even worse. It is certainly not intended as a shoelace.
There are exceptions. Back in 1992 a young Canadian soldier killed a Somali teenager, Shidane Arone, and was taken into custody. A few hours later he was found hanging in his jail cell. He wasn’t dead, but the lack of oxygen to his brain has left him incapacitated for the rest of his life.
Why did he try to commit suicide? Was it remorse for having killed the youth, or regret that his brilliant military career was ruined forever. One thing is clear. We will never find out.
There are lots of things for the senator to reflect upon before he opens up again about handing ropes to jailed killers.