A judge has given JR one of her final steps toward freedom: no more curfew.
At a scheduled hearing in Medicine Hat Court of Queen’s Bench this morning, JR was freed from having to be at home Monday to Thursday nights. The convicted killer is celebrating her 22nd birthday this fall.
These steps toward complete freedom are expected to test her and ready her for a life of freedom later this coming spring. In May, JR’s sentence is over. As long as JR doesn’t break the law in the five years following the end of her sentence, her conviction of three counts of first-degree murder in the slaying of her parents and eight-year-old brother will be erased.
JR didn’t appear in person in court this morning, but rather via CCTV with a case worker and psychologist. She spoke briefly when asked by the judge:
“I would like to express my gratitude towards the court and my team for all of the support that I’ve received.”
That’s in keeping with her past statements: always thankfully polite.
JR’s lawyer, Katherin Beyak, told reporters later that the young woman will be living as “a normal individual in society.”
“We’ll be able to tell and see that this sentence has in fact done what it’s supposed to do, which is reintegrate her and prepare her to live a real life in the real world,” Beyak told reporters.
JR continues being monitored by police and must abide by conditions including undergoing counselling or treatment as directed, and being employed or in school.
Many accounts of JR’s progress are positive: she’s taken the steps to fulfill her Intensive Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision (IRCS) sentence. She’s called the poster child of the IRCS program.
Despite the successes, there remains a public conversation pitting perception against reality. Many cannot fathom how a disturbed 12-year-old can come out the other side a changed person. Others are more forgiving, praising the pricey intensive psychotherapy for helping JR become a low to no risk to society.