Bench Press 38-4: Vampire Slayer Victim of a “cruel and unforgiving illness.” - LawNow Magazine

Bench Press 38-4: Vampire Slayer Victim of a “cruel and unforgiving illness.”

Bench PressGlen Race murdered two Halifax men in 2007.  He pled guilty to both charges and then made an application to be found not criminally responsible (NCR).  Mr. Justice Kevin Coady of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia reviewed the law and the legal requirements for a convicted person to be found not criminally responsible. He concluded that Mr. Race suffered from a mental disorder that made him incapable of knowing that his actions were wrong.  In his case, three psychiatrists, both for the Crown and the defence agreed that Mr. Race qualified for a finding of NCR. An agreed statement of facts from the three doctors stated that he suffered from schizophrenia and that he believed he was a vampire slayer and a godlike entity ordered by angels to cleanse the world of demons and sin. Justice Coady wrote: “After considering all of the evidence, I am satisfied that Mr. Race qualifies for an NCR defence…He suffered from a mental disorder on both occasions, that being schizophrenia. I am also satisfied that Mr. Race, as a result of his mental disorder, did not realize that these actions were morally wrong. I am satisfied that he really believed they were necessary to achieve his psychotic mission.” Justice Coady made two other interesting observations. First, he reached out to the families of the murdered men and said that in the context of a NCR finding: “It is important to realize that Mr. Race, his family, and friends are victims as well. They are victims of a cruel and unforgiving illness of schizophrenia. Given that there is no cure and that Mr. Race’s case is so severe, their victimization will continue for the rest of their lives. This in no way minimizes the pain and loss the Knott and Brewster families have, and will continue to, experience. These homicides are different than most killings in that the perpetrator and the victims are victims.” Then, Justice Coady added: “It is important to note that an NCR finding is not an acquittal. Mr. Race will be held responsible for killing Paul Knott and Trevor Brewster. There will be consequences for those actions and those consequences will continue for the rest of his life.”

R. v. Race, 2014 NSSC 6 (CanLII)



Teresa Mitchell
Teresa Mitchell
Teresa Mitchell is the Acting Editor and Legal Writer for LawNow Magazine at the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta.

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