Type: Analysis
Pages: 3 | Words: 837
Reading Time: 4 Minutes

The article “Animal Killer Kayla Bourque Releases to Live in Vancouver” of January 7, 2013 deals with the topical for British Columbia issue of releasing a violent animal offender and potential sociopathic killer into the community. A 23-year-old girl spent almost eight months in prison for the violation of sections 445.1(1) (a), 445(1) (a), and 88(2) of the Criminal Code. She was convicted on three counts after the accusation of child pornography had been cleared. At the time of the trial and the judicial verdict of three months in jail, she had already been for six months in the correctional system. However, she could not be released immediately as the probation service needed time to get ready for the implementation of her extremely detailed and harsh probation order.

Kayla Bourque is of Romanian origin. She was adopted from an orphanage in early childhood and brought up in a Canadian family in British Columbia. After graduating from school, she entered Simon Fraser University majoring in psychology and criminology. Her main incentive for choosing these subjects was the desire to escape punishment once she decided to act upon her urge to commit a violent crime. During the trial, it turned out that she had killed and tortured animals during her school years. She continued these atrocious actions while studying at the university. The police could capture her and prevent from killing a human being after she had confessed to her friend that she liked inflicting pain on animals and was dreaming of killing a homeless man. Her friend alerted the campus security, and the police searched her room. They discovered “a blue nylon bag with a kitchen knife, a razor blade, three large garbage bags, a hypodermic needle, and a mask”, as well as two videotapes with Kayla’s killing a dog and a cat. In custody, she was interviewed by several psychologists, who concluded that she obviously displayed sociopathic tendencies, feeling no remorse for her crimes and not thinking that she had done something illegal and immoral. Thus, the judge was advised to design an extremely detailed and harsh probation order that had to be valid for three years. Judge Malcolm MacLean expressed an opinion, “While intelligent and articulate, she had a preoccupation for causing pain”, thus justifying 46 clauses of the probation order that Kayla had to comply with if she did not want to return to the jail.

The general public has been warned through a public notification that Kayla Bourque had been released and now lived in Vancouver, posing a potential threat as she had been assessed as a person likely to re-offend. However, her probation order leaves no chance for her to commit any crime as she is closely supervised by her parole officer and the police. Thus, she has to inform the parole officer about all her activities, cannot invite anybody to her apartment between 6 pm and 6 am, access the internet unless in the probation office and with the purpose of looking for a job, and even possess a knife, hypodermic needles, duct tape, and some other items defined in one of the clauses. The judge claims that it is an unprecedented case in his practice in terms of issuing such a detailed probation order. Nonetheless, it makes the community safe as well as ensures that Kayla has no opportunity to commit a crime. Besides, she is obliged to receive the necessary psychological treatment in the outpatient psychiatric department as she is obviously mentally disturbed and needs help and support. Her family does not want her to live in their house as they deem her as dangerous to their well-being.

Animal cruelty is one of the indicators of a serious underlying mental problem that can turn a person into a sociopathic murderer. As a rule, people accused of animal cruelty are sentenced to one month of imprisonment and are then released into the unsuspecting community. The case of Kayla Bourque may set a precedent of preventing these people from reoffending by alarming the community they are going to reside in and issuing harsh probation conditions aimed at disabling them from crossing the line. Kayla confessed to her crimes and was rather honest and cooperative during the trial process. She also agreed with all probation conditions, thus testifying to the fact that she was willing to get professional assistance and get rid of her pathological urges to kill and torture living creatures. However, she is the only person, who has been so harshly treated because of animal cruelty. Other criminals accused of the same crimes have not received so much attention from the public and the media and are not closely monitored by the probation service and the police. Therefore, they have a chance to commit a crime and go unpunished unless they make a mistake and leave evidence. This case is a sign that society and the criminal justice system take measures to prevent crimes and not only punish them, hence allowing to be quite optimistic in terms of future reforms of the criminal system.

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