Jan 15, 2015 - DEAR FAMILIES FOR JUSTICE FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERS:


Thursday January 15, 2015 will be an emotional and troubling day for our family. Natasha Warren, the woman who was convicted of killing our daughter Kassandra Kaulius on May 3, 2011, will receive her statutory release from Prison.

She went to prison on December 28th, 2012; upon the Judge’s decision she received a sentence of 37 months. Ms. Warren then came up for Day Parole in November 2013. At that time however, The National Parole Board denied her release, as they felt she hadn’t taken full ownership of the crime she had committed, and wasn't fully prepared with a management plan for her release and could possibly re-offend. She was to remain in prison for another year and a half, which brings us to this week.

Although she was originally given a 3 1/2 year sentence, she will be released now after serving only 24 months. Ms. Warren will be moving to a community about a 15 - 20 minute drive away from where we live. We struggle with the fact that we have to accept that she only spend 24 months in jail for taking our daughter’s life. It is little comfort to know that this is more than most impaired drivers spend in jail for impaired driving causing a death, but it doesn't make it any easier. She will move on with her life, but it is our family who’ll be serving a life sentence of the remainder of our lives without our much loved Kassandra.

Isn't it sad to know in Canada, when someone kills your loved one from the incomprehensible actions of impaired driving, they will spend so little in jail? These drivers have gone against the very moral, ethical values and responsibility we uphold in society and our public safety expectations, and have chosen to be reckless in their actions.

Driving while being legally impaired by alcohol or intoxicated by drugs, and causing the death of an innocent person, simply doesn't equate to being taken as a serious crime in Canada. While not premeditated, it is completely preventable, and we feel it should be considered Vehicular Manslaughter, or Vehicular Homicide!

Everyone knows if you drink and drive, there is the potential for a possible collision to occur. Although there are some stronger laws on the books, they are almost never ever used in sentencing. We recently found out there is only 1 person in Canada who has ever received a more lengthy sentence of 8 1/2 years in prison for impaired driving, and he didn't kill anyone.

In 2010, Terry Naugle of Truro, N.S., was found guilty of impaired driving for the 23rd time after he sideswiped an SUV on a highway off-ramp. No one was hurt, but he was jailed for 8 1/2 years and given a 15 year driving ban. Sad that it took 23 times before the Justice System and a Judge, finally held him accountable for his actions of putting the public at risk. How many repeated times will our courts allow these drivers to return to the roads, putting us all at risk again…..until the next collision happens?

In speaking with a great many families all across Canada over the last 3 ½ years; many of them have never even gotten close to that amount of time served. We know how many other families are in our situation, and we grieve for your losses too. It’s painful knowing firsthand what you too are going through in your own lives, and losses. 

This just makes us want to work that much harder for changes that are needed in the sentencing laws. I hope that others will have the courage to join with us in the fight for change, and not just talk about it. As you can see just talking about it with others doesn't get anything changed. None of us ever thought this type of crime would ever happen in our families. Neither did the well over 3000+ other families across Canada, who have lost their children or loved ones.

We need more people to sign our petition, commit to writing letters, contact you Federal MP's, and go to speak with these officials. We need to keep the pressure on the current government leaders, and other federal government opposition leaders to support changes to the sentencing laws.

As Canadians we need to let our Justice System know that the sentences being handed out are not acceptable anymore considering the severity of the crimes that are being committed. We expect our Judicial System to use the full extent of the laws when finding for a conviction. When we are still losing between 1200 and 1600+ innocent lives each year to impaired drivers, we still have a huge problem with in Canada!

It is very difficult knowing that all the education and media of the last several decades, hasn't brought much deterrent in the reduction of impaired driving. Even more so, it hurts in knowing that the courts value innocent lives so little.

As taxpayers, we spend BILLIONS OF DOLLARS yearly to service the costs of policing, court trials, crown councils, court delays, fire and paramedics, hospital costs, funeral services, rehabilitation care, lost work and wages, grief counselling, personal and vehicular insurance claim payouts and tow trucks.

That is nothing short of shocking, in this day and age. Irresponsible drivers are costing ALL of US! Yet, the current system allows convicted criminals to collect their get out of jail free cards, continue to pass go, and collect their $200 dollars that we as taxpayers have also had to pay, for their daily wages of $5.25 to $6.50 per day, while in prison.

It is a sad day in Canada, when we see the convicted criminals have more rights in Canada, then do the families and the victims that they killed have, and law abiding taxpaying citizens of Canada need to stand together and say we will not support the ongoing legislation as handed down in the courts currently. OUR VOICES NEED TO BE HEARD!

We and our supporters have worked very hard the past 3 1/2 years to collect over 85,000 SIGNATURES. However we need MORE! Every signature is your vote of agreement that the laws must be changed with respect to the criminal charges and sentencing laws of those who cause both collisions and fatalities, involving Impaired Driving. With the upcoming Federal Election this year, we want to increase the momentum, so the Government will take action as soon as possible, and push to have the mandate of or request come in to law.

Please remember, we are working for the safety of ALL Canadians. The life you save, may well be your own, or that of your loved ones! Thank You!

As I write this; my family and I will shortly begin the 4th year of our life time sentence of living every day without our beautiful daughter. She lost her goals and dreams, and all she had worked through school and university. Shock extended out past our immediate family and friends, and in to the community.

Kassandra received a death sentence on May 3, 2011, but it is we who will serve the Life Sentence of Loss, after this tragedy. Ms. Warren has served her prison sentence, and will continue on in her path in life.

Our two children Nick and Miranda live without their much loved sister. Kassandra’s two nephews will never, ever know the love and affection of a wonderfully caring aunt and Godmother that Kassandra would have been in sharing in their lives. A Grandmother grieves her youngest granddaughter, who she simply adored. Numerous uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends continue to love and miss the ‘sparkling girl’ who had so much to offer the world. Our family will never again be our complete family, as Kassandra will always be missing.

Thank you all for your ongoing show of love and kindness! Your support and encouragement will keep us pushing on for changes in the criminal justice system. We hope you will continue to help us to get both our message, and our Petition out.

Although our lives have been changed forever, we continue to work towards changes in our laws, so this doesn't happen to your family!

Markita and Victor Kaulius 
Founders of Families For Justice

 

 

Last updated on: 2017-01-22 | Link to this post