Seventeen years ago I was a youth pastor at Scarborough Baptist Church and many of the young people I was involved with attended Churchlands Senior High School – one of Perth’s ‘good’ public schools.

However it wasn’t all good and on one tragic day a young girl by the name of Vicki Groves was murdered. A young man took a large hunting knife to school strapped to his back and murdered her in broad daylight in the classroom.

Some of the kids we knew were actually in the classroom at the time so it impacted them significantly and I remember the event well.

Now that killer has done 17 years in prison and is due for parole… The question being asked on the news this evening was whether he should be granted that parole or whether Jim McGinty should over-rule and disallow it.

The murdered girl’s parent’s aren’t opposing parole, but the question has many facets.

What does justice look like in a situation like this?

Has he done his time and should be let out?

or should he be permanently locked up and kept away from people in case he does it again?

A part of me says that everyone needs a second chance… another part of me says that if he were to live next door to me I’d feel differently.

What would be a Jesus-like response?…

Here is an article related to the situation. I realise this is not a joyful subject, but its an important one for us to consider. How do we live as a society when there is so much brokenness all around us?

7 thoughts on “Justice?

  1. i do not know what the response of Jesus is.

    i’m sure i have personal feelings about these kind of situations. but every person is different. some people do terrible things and get caught. some do terrible things and never get caught. what about those who never get caught? where is the justice there? and can a person truly change?

    i think that might be at the heart of this issue for me. can a person truly change? what is the environment and circumstances in which this change occurs?

  2. Hard to tell but it sounds to me as if it was a cold premeditated attack and I am not aware of any remorse by the murderer etc. It’s about time we stopped cheapening life.

    Life imprisonment. Which, in addition to taking the life of a girl, is what he meted out to her family, her teachers and her fellow students. He is not beyond God’s redemption whilst behind bars, but he is not exempt from God’s judgment either.

  3. I was talking about this with my wife recently.

    In the case of cold blooded pre-meditated murder, I unapolegeticaly think that the guilty party should be locked up for life. But… not for his punishment, but for societies protection.

    But this solution can only be sufficient if the penitentiary system is reformed. Prisoners need to feel like contributing members of society from within these systems. They need to feel hope within the prisons that what they are doing can be for their redemption (earthly speaking).

  4. If a serious crime should attract a harsher penalty, that should be handed out by the court. It is appalling when the government, for their own popularity, finds someone who’s done his time and says they should stay locked up. The SA govt has often done this, and it could be argued that anyone thereby kept in longer than the court decided is a political prisoner.

    Meanwhile, terrorist pawn David Hicks has done his time and is living quietly in Adelaide. The people who live in his street are not concerned, except for all the media attention.

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  6. I remember the day this happened, I was two classrooms away. We heard the commotion of people running down the halls screaming, at first my teacher thought kids were running amok but we had to stay in the classroom until he returned after going to investigate. We then learnt that Vicky had been fatally stabbed in the classroom two doors up from ours. It heavily affected the whole school that day. The school held a memorial for Vicky, and nearly the whole school broke down and cried rivers of tears, whether they knew her or not. This kind of shocking tragedy had never personally affected our lives before that day, and it was to most of us, something that only happened on the news, in other countries

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