For Tim's Mother, the Issue Is Safety

Article excerpt

She wants his mentally ill killer confined for life

Carol de Delley doesn't want Vince Li executed. She doesn't think the man who killed her son four years ago should be treated inhumanely at all. She's not part of the baying crowd who think Li should be tossed into a regular prison, into a dungeon, onto the next flight back to China.

She wants him treated well within the confines of a secure mental-health facility. She wants that to happen for the rest of his natural life.

Tim McLean's mother knows retribution isn't the answer, not even if such thoughts surfaced during the dark hours, days and months after her sleeping son was attacked and mutilated on a Greyhound bus. The 22-year-old became a symbol of a world gone dark. Vince Li became the bogeyman. The murder brought home a violence and depravity most of us have thankfully only seen on Criminal Minds.

Li was found not criminally responsible for the slaying. He has schizophrenia and was not receiving treatment when he killed Carol de Delley's boy. The verdict didn't sit well with many who don't buy mental illness as a reason for not doing time for crime. Carol de Delley was never part of that crowd.

"I'm not fear-mongering. It's (the calls for violence against Li) that are frightening. I have nothing but empathy and sympathy for people who are suffering from a mental illness," the 51-year-old said Friday afternoon.

But empathy goes only so far. If you're a killer, she doesn't care about your backstory.

"They want to take care of Vince Li and treat him humanely. Fine. No wonder he's showing vast improvements. Compared to what he was like, no kidding. (But) he needs to be kept there. He needs to be in a secure locked facility for the rest of his life."

Li was in the headlines again this week when the Manitoba Review Board ruled he can begin receiving temporary passes that allow him to walk out of the Selkirk Mental Health Centre for escorted visits in the town of Selkirk. He was previously allowed to walk the hospital grounds under strict supervision.

Li would be accompanied by a nurse and a peace officer in Selkirk at all times. Although the walks would last 30 minutes at the start, they could eventually stretch to full days. …