February 1, 2007

Matthew Daly

A young man is tracked down and murdered, kicked to death by a pack of feral criminals as his girlfriend looks on, helplessly.

His family is torn apart and the scars run to the core of a community.

The men that murdered Matthew Daly were caught. After a trial that took five years to take place, one of them will probably go free today. The other two could be out in 5-6 years. Read the verdict here.

I would never ask for someone to explain how Matthew's death could have made any sense. But this? This I need help with. Is this where we are? A young man murdered and his killers out of jail before they hit 30? Just what is it you have to do in order to have the full wrath of this society brought to bear? Is there anything?

We are days into a horrific trial in British Columbia, where a sick freak allegedly killed and butchered 49 women. The difference here of course, is that when you kill drug-addicted prostitutes, you have to get to 49 before anyone gives a damn. I watch their families sitting in court, and lashing out to the TV cameras, but the sad fact remains that they are mourning the girls they lost, not the women who were killed.

But I want this killer gone forever, too. Life in jail. Period. Matthew Daly lived, and died, just a few blocks from my home. His death has changed the way I raise my sons. I look at his picture, and I see all of our sons, all of our children. A senseless, senseless loss, now made worse by the no-doubt high-fives that went around some jail cells after the parole times were announced. These cowards do not deserve freedom; they do not deserve second chances; they have forfeited the right to walk the streets.

Grief is forever, and time does not heal all wounds. When we can no longer protect our children - even and especially when they have done nothing wrong - we have failed to provide the most basic promise we implicitly make when they are born.

But we must function as a community. I need you to help me protect my children, and I must help you to take care of yours. When our courts dispense with justice and return those who place no value on human life back amongst us, they threaten the very fabric on which we base everything that matters to us.

My apologies to the Daly family. We have let you down. I hope you find the strength to hold together that which has been shattered.


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