The son of a woman who was raped, strangled, and left to rot in the woods has been barred from the killer’s parole hearing. Jeremy Mead, who was six years old when he watched his mom brutally assaulted at gunpoint, is barred from the May 27 hearing in Kingston because he wrote a victim’s impact statement that was deemed “disturbing” by officials at Correctional Services Canada.
Now 28, Mead says he was only venting his anger in writing for the first time and has no intention of acting out violently.
“If you’ve been through what I’ve been through, you’re probably going to say some stuff you shouldn’t say,” he told Sun Media. Mead wrote that he wished Raymond Babinski dead, and that he would like to be the one to (kill him). Realizing his threats were inappropriate, he rewrote his statement and offered assurances that he would not disrupt parole proceedings. Correctional Services Canada, however, refused to reverse its decision — a position Mead calls a “slap in the face” to himself and to his mother’s memory.
“They’re going to give him a second chance, but they’re not going to give me a second chance,” he said. “His rights precede mine.”
The CRCVC feels strongly that the National Parole Board and Correctional Services Canada were unjust in banning Mead from Babinski’s parole hearing. Our experience with family members of homicide victims has shown that it is natural for survivors to vent their anger following the murder of a loved one, and to direct that anger toward the murderer.
This case illustrates the sad reality of the corrections and parole system in Canada. The overriding focus remains on the rights of the offender, and to provide them with a second chance, no matter how horrific their crime(s). In Babinski’s case, he has not even accepted responsibility for his crimes, denying all involvement 20 years later despite his convictions being repeatedly upheld.
On May 27, 2009, the National Parole Board denied Babinski’s application for Unescorted Temporary Absences. Members of the CRCVC attended the hearing in Kingston. Jeremy Mead and his grandmother, who were only permitted to read their victim impact statements via video-conference from Toronto, cheered and clapped when the Board announced its decision. It is truly shameful that the victims were barred from physically attending the hearing.