Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu makes a statement following Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson's announcement regarding an amendment to the Youth Criminal Justice Act to strengthen its handling of repeat young offenders in Ottawa on Tuesday, March 16, 2010. (Pawel Dwulit/The Canadian Press/Pawel Dwulit/The Canadian Press)
Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu makes a statement following Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson's announcement regarding an amendment to the Youth Criminal Justice Act to strengthen its handling of repeat young offenders in Ottawa on Tuesday, March 16, 2010. (Pawel Dwulit/The Canadian Press/Pawel Dwulit/The Canadian Press)

Tory Senator: My let-killers-hang idea has lots of support Add to ...

A Conservative senator says he’s been inundated with expressions of support for his unusual idea of providing rope to help murder convicts commit suicide in prison.

Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu says he’s received 500 to 600 messages of support in only one day.

Mr. Boisvenu had made an apparently off-the-cuff suggestion that killers be given rope in their prison cell – so that they could decide whether to hang themselves.

More related to this story

Although he apologized immediately for the language he used Wednesday, on Thursday he was sounding a little less apologetic.

He said it appeared many Canadians agreed with him.

“The comments I got from 500 people, maybe even 600, said the media are exaggerating this,” Mr. Boisvenu said.

“Also, these people are saying, ‘What Mr. Boisvenu said, that’s just what people think.’ The people who wrote to me, the majority are victims.”

Mr. Boisvenu was a prominent victims’ rights advocate whose daughter was murdered, and who lost another daughter in a car accident. He was named to the Senate last year by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Mr. Boisvenu suggested this week that he might agree with the death penalty in limited cases, because it could save the state on incarceration costs. He cited the multimillion-dollar cost of jailing killers like Clifford Olson and the Shafias.

Mr. Boisvenu said capital punishment could be used only in cases where there was no hope of rehabilitation.

But he added that he was against systematic capital punishment and he also stressed that Mr. Harper has made it clear he doesn’t want to reopen the debate. Canada abolished capital punishment in 1976 and the last executions were in 1962.

Follow us on Twitter: @GlobePolitics

 

In the know

Most popular videos »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most popular