At one of my presentations a law professor asked me if I thought the Ontario Review Board treated me fairly. I smiled at him and said the last time they dealt with me it was indeed fair; I was granted an Absolute Discharge in December. There was applause which made me feel that finally even strangers were in support or at least were happy my struggles had ended.
It did make me think. To answer the question better I would say “yes”. They have a job to do and a real balancing act. To protect the public but at the same time to offer conditions which are the least onerous to me, the accused. I think the public won out on a few Dispositions as I never considered myself a threat to public safety. I often pictured myself as stable and I certainly had no plans that weren’t peaceful. I simply wanted to get on with my life. I wanted to reconnect with my children, live independently, find meaningful occupation and maybe even love. The Ontario Review Board essentially prevented most of this for years but I don’t look at it as an injustice. I merely paid the price for others who may have been similar in diagnosis and circumstance who needed the law to conform to, or who had provided reason to be overseen. My duty now is to prove to society that the decision of the Ontario Review Board was correct. My pursuit of life was more important and significant than any risk I posed. At the same time I hope to provide positive statistics and precedence to others who are in similar circumstances. I hope that by thriving and living peacefully despite my past and diagnosis that someone else may be granted the benefit of the doubt. In reality I wasn’t granted an Absolute Discharge; I am still connected to my actions and my past. What I was granted was the benefit of the doubt. Without a doubt it feels incredible.