IN THE wake of Kyle Garth’s sentencing for the horrific murder of local girl Jessie Cate, it has to be asked: what price a life?
Given a life sentence in the Supreme Court yesterday, the 20-year-old could be out by the time he is in his late 30s with parole.
For Jessie’s family, their sentence will never be over.
But at what point do we as a society accept the limits of the justice system and recognize that, for all its flaws, it generally metes out the best punishment it possible can.
Bound by legislation, judges simply cannot sentence people to punishment that effectively does not exist.
What is the point in calling for the death penalty in a certain case when our laws do not allow for it?
In a situation almost too unbearable to think about, Jessie’s family have no choice but to accept what the judge handed down.
Jessie is not coming back.
And nothing a Supreme Court justice could do will change that fact.
There will be cries for a harsher penalty.
There will be people wishing the very worst on the man who killed the popular schoolgirl.
But it will be in vain.
The decision has been made.
And, right or wrong, it’s the one we have to live with.
It’s the one Jessie’s family has to live with, and it’s the one Mr Garth’s family has to live with, too.
There are no winners in a tragedy such as this.
The best we can do is offer support to those suffering and hope to whatever higher power you may subscribe to that it never happens again.