EDITORIAL – Give Allan Schoenborn the best of treatment, but keep him inside

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

ONE OF THE foundations of our Canadian justice system is the belief that even those guilty of the most unthinkable acts are capable of being rehabilitated, of being returned to society.

So, we give them the tools and the trust to become different people than they were when they committed their transgressions. We offer them treatment, training and the opportunity of freedom.

This is a worthy sentiment — we don’t want a legal system based on revenge.

Allan Schoenborn.

But the case of Allan Schoenborn stretches our instincts of forgiveness to the breaking point. In 2008, Schoenborn murdered his three children in their Merritt home. He was found not criminally responsible due to a delusional disorder and has been in the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam ever since.

In 2015, the B.C. Review Board awarded the hospital the discretion to allow Schoenborn escorted outings into the community.

Two and a half months ago, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled that Schoenborn is not a “high risk to re-offend.” That meant he retains the right to apply for escorted day passes.

He’s never been granted such an outing, but last week the Review Board re-confirmed the status quo.

It’s arguable whether this will motivate Schoenborn in his recovery, or embitter him if he doesn’t get those tastes of freedom.

Though he would be under close supervision, Darcie Clark, the mother of the three children Schoenborn murdered, believes she would be at grave risk. Clark, who lives not far from the psychiatric hospital, points out that privacy legislation prevents the community from even knowing when an outing takes place.

All this is the result of our progressive justice system.

That Schoenborn is mentally ill isn’t in doubt. But neither is the fact he’s frequently been violent while in custody.

Nobody, especially Darcie Clark, should have to live in fear no matter what the precautions.

Keep Allan Schoenborn under treatment, but keep him inside. That’s not revenge, it’s common sense.

Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear twice daily Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on and CFJC Today. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (6477 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on EDITORIAL – Give Allan Schoenborn the best of treatment, but keep him inside

  1. I would have to agree with Grouchy.He should be incarcerated for life,no parole.He murdered three beautiful little children. I wonder what the guy who shot the cop will get,and what his lawyers will come up with.Too much of this going on. When I was a young fella,they hung them.End of story and everyone got on with their lives.

  2. I Agree that he should be kept inside under close observation…HE KILLED his 3 children.

  3. Jerome Farrell // November 23, 2017 at 2:51 PM // Reply

    I totally agree

  4. I have long believed that ” not guilty by reason of insanity ” is a get out of jail free card for a lot of the people that get away with using it. Yes, there are some that will never be released in any form, but there are also those, like Schoenborn, who try to work the system, and are aided by quacks who still believe in Unicorns, and Fairy Princesses. My opinion is that when these people are deemed fit for any kind of release, they should then have to be placed in a penitentiary somewhere ,and serve the appropriate sentence for their crime.

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