Will Imeson get plea deal?

(Note: originally published October 9, 2008. Jesse Imeson plead guilty to second-degree murder, and received three concurrent life sentences with no chance of parole for 25 years.)

View from the Strip
By Casey Lessard

There’s a dangerous game being played in Goderich, at the court where Jesse Imeson faces first-degree murder charges in the deaths of Bill and Helene Regier of Mount Carmel. The London Free Press’ John Miner reported Monday that Imeson’s lawyer Don Crawford suggests Imeson may plead guilty to a lesser charge than first-degree murder in relation to the death of the Regiers and Carlos Rivera. We’ll see what happens October 27.
Jesse-Imeson-Smoke.jpgIf Imeson is indeed guilty, I struggle with the concept that he may receive a lesser punishment than he deserves, considering the horror of the crime. If the court accepts a plea that will see Imeson go to prison and be eligible for parole in as few as 10 years, is that better than taking the risk that he could be found not guilty at trial? It’s not surprising that a first-degree murder conviction (the law lumps multiple convictions into one concurrent sentence) is unappealing to Imeson and his lawyer; such a conviction carries a mandatory 25 year sentence before parole can be considered. The question is, will the Crown and the judge believe that’s punishment enough?
It’s an emotional issue. Ultimately, if convicted, Imeson will have to pay for his crimes. I’m reminded of the testimonials given in this newspaper last summer, when I questioned the role of forgiveness in this circumstance.
“In my heart, I am sure that both Bill and Helene would forgive him,” said Marion Sullivan, “because until you forgive you will continue to bleed.”
“This is something that’s going to take a long, long time,” Father Ray Lawhead added. “Forgiveness doesn’t mean you excuse what happened. It doesn’t. He’s responsible for his actions.”
Some day, these murders may be forgiven; they will never be forgotten. Personally, I hope the system ensures that “some day” is far enough in the future that forgiveness is possible.