RCPM and Saskatchewan authorities have started to release more information about the gruesome murder of a six-year old boy in the small Kahkewistahaw First Nation community. Police released that the boy suspected of the homicide is under the age of 12, acted alone and will be receiving treatment. The child’s tender-age means that he is too young to be charged under Canada’s Criminal Code and his name has been withheld from the public. The RCMP disclosed that the child was known to police prior to the assault.
Lee Bonneau succumbed to fatal head trauma after he was found in a treelined area situated on Kahkewistahaw First Nation land. He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. The Aboriginal community is located about 150 kilometers east of Regina. Bonneau was last seen playing with dogs outside a community center while his foster mother was playing bingo. Authorities are still investigating the matter and are still interviewing locals and other people of interest, and are trying to piece together what exactly transpired on August 21.
Edward Prutschi, a partner at Adler Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman boutique criminal law firm, was an expert legal guest on CTV News to discuss the extraordinary nature of this case. Mr. Prutschi answers a polarizing question about why a person, who is capable of committing such a heinous act, can walk-away unpunished because they are considered too young. Mr. Prutschi states that all Western and democratic societies have a starting point where there criminal accountability is determined, and for Canada, that age begins at 12. Whether this number is arbitrary or not cannot be universally determined as many different civilizations set different ages.
Mr. Prutschi mentions that since this case is outside the scope of the criminal justice system, the societal responsibility to rehabilitate this child would go to social services and children welfare organizations who would psychiatrically asses and work with the child and ensure that he is fit enough to rejoin society. Mr. Prutschi is asked if any criminal responsibilities falls on the shoulders of the parents or guardians of children who are too young to be charged. Mr. Prutschi states that the short answer for this is that they most likely will not be held criminally responsible, and although a civil suit for negligence can be filed, it will most likely not hold up in court.
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