Public safety ignored in Schoenborn decision

Two & Out
By James Peters
September 8, 2017 - 6:05am Updated: September 8, 2017 - 2:57pm

KAMLOOPS — When the justice system deals with someone like Allan Schoenborn, public safety must be its number one concern. 

The system has already decided to treat the man who killed his three children in Merritt nine years ago as an inpatient suffering from an illness, of which extreme violence is a symptom. 

So it should. 

But in saying that, it recognizes that there will be no punishment for the man, and there won't be any deterrence, either. 

After all, deterrence requires the next potential killer to make a rational decision based on potential consequences, and a person in a state of such advanced psychosis can't do that. 

So no punishment, no deterrence, and it appears rehabilitation isn't happening either. 

In submissions before the BC Review Board in 2015, Crown lawyers stated Schoenborn had dozens of violent incidents while in custody at Colony Farm. 

Violence is simply the way his brain deals with things, and it doesn't appear to be getting any better. 

Even in a facility dedicated to his health, he has a propensity for acting in anger and aggression. 

With punishment, deterrence and rehabilitation all moot, the justice system must act solely in the interest of public safety, and that is where BC Supreme Court Justice Martha Devlin failed. 

Devlin did not designate Schoenborn a "High Risk Accused," meaning he can continue to request supervised outings from the BC Review Board. 

If a man's sick mind can convince him to kill the three people he supposedly loves the most, then it is not a stretch to say that mind could convince him to commit acts of violence against others, especially the childrens' mother and her family. 

Allan Schoenborn should be kept from the public, period. 

Slapping him with this designation would have been one step toward that goal. 

Darcie Clarke is living in fear, and has good reason to be. 

With the decisions like this from the Supreme Court, it's hard to imagine her living any other way.