Today should have been a day for justice.
Instead, it’s just more frustration for the family of Luka Gordic – the 19-year-old Burnaby boy who was murdered on May 17, 2015, while he was in Whistler for what was supposed to be fun long weekend getaway.
Today, Tuesday, was scheduled to be the day when a judge sentenced three males for their roles in Luka’s death. All three were youths at the time of the killing, so they cannot be named because of a publication ban. A fourth man, Arvin Golic, who was 18 at the time of the killing and has already been sentenced for his role in it, instigated the deadly swarming attack on Luka over a petty dispute between the two young men. Gordic's family and the Crown have previously called for all three to be sentenced as adults. Crown prosecutor Hank Reiner argued the two men convicted of manslaughter should get a jail sentence in the range of four to six years. For second-degree murder, the third could face a mandatory life sentence with no chance of parole for seven years if he is sentenced as an adult.
A sentencing hearing was held at the end of July in B.C. Supreme Court in which the family poured out all their rage at the killing and all their love for Luka. More than three-and-a-half months later, Luka’s family was bracing to finally find out how much jail time – if any – the three men would receive.
But today they didn’t find anything except pain.
That’s because the sentencing decision was cancelled.
“We are once again very disappointed by the delay in the Judges (sic) sentencing decision that was re-scheduled for next Tuesday,” the family wrote last week on the Justice for Luka Gordic Facebook page. “The court still has not given us a new sentence hearing date.”
Just imagine how much emotional energy it must take to prepare for something like this. To have to put aside your unending grief in order to be able to cope with facing three people responsible for killing Luka. To be in the same room as the killers.
Most of us, thankfully, will never have to do this, but I imagine it must be a dreadful experience.
But then to have the hearing suddenly cancelled and not know when another hearing will happen is a vicious gut punch all too common with the justice system.
“The Gordic Family would like to apologize to all those who have taken time off work and to those who have made arrangements to travel from afar to attend the court hearing decision.”
To the Gordic family: You, of course, have nothing to apologize for.
It’s the court system that owes you an apology.