Sunday, March 1, 2009
It was a crime so horrifying it shocked and sickened people around the world. As horror-struck passengers watched, Vince Weiguang Li’s stabbed and beheaded 22-year-old Tim McLean on a Greyhound bus last summer.
During a three-day hearing this week, it is expected that Li will be found not criminally responsible for his actions. Both the prosecution and defense are expected to present a psychiatrist who will say Li should be found not criminally responsible for McLean’s death. That will be the only evidence presented in this case and it is expected the judge will agree.
Under present law - which replaced the past verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity - Li will not face a long prison sentence as punishment.
A person found not criminally responsible will instead be placed in an institution. Li’s stay could be indefinite, possibly his entire lifetime. Or, if doctors determine he is no longer a threat, he could be released in a matter of months.
Carol deDelley, McLean’s mother, has been actively lobbying politicians to revise the current law with what is known as “Tim’s Law”. The proposed legislation would put the rights of a victim of crime ahead of those of the perpetrator. It would make it mandatory that anyone who voluntarily takes another person’s life loses their freedom for the rest of their own life.