The family of murder victim John Ruffolo spoke out (see letters below) this week after his convicted killer was released on bail while she launches an appeal.
Ruby Ann Ruffolo was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years for the 2003 murder. Last Friday, she was released with conditions after paying $100,000 bail.
Paul Pearson, chair of the criminal justice section Victoria, Canadian Bar Association of B.C., spoke about the criteria a B.C. Court of Appeal judge would have to consider before making such a decision.
First, the convicted person must prove merit to their appeal argument.
“It can’t be frivolous,” Pearson said, “(and) she needs to satisfy to them that she’s going to come back to court and not going to run away and that it’s not contrary to the public interest.”
Ruffolo had been out on bail while the courts reached a decision in her trial, potentially helping the argument that she is not a threat to public safety, Pearson said.
“It gives the court some confidence that she’s not a danger to anyone and likely to come back,” Pearson said, adding, “It’s not a common occurrence to get appeal bail granted, but it happens.”
Victim’s sister decries bail for convicted killer
The judge alluded to the fact that she has no previous criminal record. So, is everyone now granted a ‘bye’? Perhaps we could appropriately name this the ‘First Murder Free’ Act? You murder once, but you never did it before so you get to be free? When it comes to protection, we are protected if you choose to murder here in Canada. You can torment, intimidate and have other charges against you while under criminal investigation – but never to worry, they, the lawyers, will argue what information is and is not admissible to be heard by the judge.
… The decision, or perhaps better worded as one judge appearing to overrule one of their own is a disgrace and shameful. Why did Madame Justice Mary Humphries dedicate years of time thoroughly going through evidence to ensure the right decision was made in the first place?
I commend Madame Humphries for her time, dedication and commitment to ensuring she was an extraordinary example of how justice should be defined; I commend the dedication of hours that our local police departments committed; I commend the Crown counsel representatives that worked endlessly on this case to ensure justice was given; but our system is obligated to support the pillars that keep it standing – and it is NOT!
John Ruffolo’s sister
Mother disgusted by process
I would like to express my absolute disgust at the statement: “It was a relatively peaceful death compared with other cases such as a fatal shooting.”
I walked in circles trying to imagine what (the defence) was thinking.
Her method of murdering was simply easy, convenient and cowardly – while he was sleeping and defenceless.
…When someone deliberately takes the life of another, they relinquish their right to live freely in society – 25 years should mean 25 years – end of story. … My beautiful son is gone forever – he lost 40 years or more of life – why should she get ANY of hers back?
John Ruffolo’s mother