MONTREAL – Far be it for me, a resident of the great United States, to bash any other country’s legal system. But in Canada, a former cardiologist found guilty of stabbing his two children to death has been released after only 46 months of confinement.
In February 2009, Guy Turcotte stabbed 5-year-old Olivier and 3-year-old Anne-Sophie to death as they slept in their beds. One would hope that they did not suffer, but according to the children’s mother, that wasn’t the case. She is a physician and a coroner, so looking over her children’s autopsy reports revealed that her children experienced a long, painful death.
“I knew it was not a short death. You know, my little boy received 20 stabs of a knife, he had seven marks of defense,” said Dr. Isabelle Gaston. “He had no wound that was the one that gave him death,” she added. “My little girl, she had 19 wounds, maybe she was luckier? Because she had one that was more mortal than the other. But she felt 19 shots, that’s for sure,” Gaston said.
During his 2011 trial, Turcotte testified that he was upset over his wife leaving him for a family friend and snapped. He says he doesn’t remember stabbing his children nearly four dozen times. There jury only had four possible verdicts they could reach: first degree murder, second degree murder, manslaughter or not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder. After five days deliberation, they chose the latter, believing Turcotte was insane when he stabbed his children.
On Wednesday, after a 46 month stay at a mental health facility, a three-member mental health review board decided that Turcotte was fit to re-enter society and have released him with strict conditions. Turcotte must continue his therapy, live at an approved address, and is not allowed to contact his ex-wife or any members of her family. Obviously, people were already outraged over the verdict are blowing a gasket over his release.
The Canadian government has even called Turcotte’s release “unacceptable.” “We believe that Isabelle Gaston does not deserve to live in fear of her children’s killer and neither do victims of similar crimes across Canada,” said James Moore, a federal cabinet minister. Although it won’t effect the outcome of Turcotte’s release, the Conservative government of Prime Minster Stephen Harper is drafting legislation to make it more difficult for mentally ill offenders to be released from psychiatric facilities.
Turcotte told the review board that he is looking forward to leading a normal life, including practicing medicine and having children again.Tags: Canada, Crime, Guy Turcotte, mental illness, Murder, Stabbing