I know that everybody is just dying to hear what I have to say about Vince Li getting supervised walks outside the mental institution where he now makes his home.
Well, I more or less agree with Graham over at PW. I think many people have lost their perspective on this matter. Vince's crime was so horrific that it has created an event horizon around people's brains from which rationality cannot escape. I got dangerously close to that threshold ... I was somewhat appalled when I found out he would be walking in a yard with no fences or barriers separating him from the public, and when his shrink said "I would let him walk my daughter home from school" my reaction was "Worst ... father ... ever." I realized, however, that this is not a completely rational position to take. I mean, the part about letting him outside for a few minutes each day. (I still would not let him walk my daughter home from school.) Murderers in prison get to go outdoors once in a while, and locking Vince up in a dark cell like Henri Charriere in Papillon would likely just make his sequestered demons even stronger.
For that reason, I also do not believe he should be allowed to leave that controlled environment. he may very well reach a point where he appears capable of reintegrating into society, but left on his own there is no guarantee that he will continue to take his medication and will not have another "episode". Given the severity of his last episode, I'm not sure that's a risk society should take.
Nevertheless, at the current time Vince is not a risk, and people -- including our Attorney General Mr. Swan -- are overreacting. Dan Lett makes an excellent distinction between "public interest" and "public opinion" in the paper. They are not necessarily the same thing, and in this case our government representative made the decision to score cheap political points by catering to irrational fear, rather than concentrating on the public interest. Lord knows there are many other pressing crime and justice problems that demand action in the public interest that Andrew Swan should be spending his time solving.