Gay Man’s Killer to Be Released Today in Vancouver

Ryan Cran, 26, was part of a group of young men who beat Aaron Webster to death in 2001 using baseball bats, golf clubs, and pool cues, near the entrance to a gay cruising area in the city’s Stanley Park. He was convicted in 2001 for manslaughter and is being released two years early, CTV reports:

Cran“The news has outraged Webster’s family, who say they want changes to a system they say isn’t tough enough. ‘He should be in jail for 25 years to life,’ Webster’s cousin Denise Norman told CTV News. ‘He’s killed somebody, he’s getting out a young man, and he’ll be in his mid-twenties.’ … When Cran was sentenced in 2004, the justice system came under fire. In what was described as a ‘cowardly and terrifying act,’ he was sentenced to six years in prison. But Cran will be released Thursday, two years shy of his full sentence, because he’s eligible for statutory release. If the court prosecuted the murder as a hate crime it could have meant a longer sentence.’The hate crime legislation is there, why are these people so cowardly to apply it?’ Webster’s sister Pamela Miller asked in 2005. At the time, the judge ruled there was no evidence before the court that Webster was targeted because he was gay. But four years later, the system is being questioned again. ‘Get rid of this statutory release. And if you’re going to continue with statutory release, put some restrictions on them that mean something,’ said Norman.”

Cran’s parole comes with travel conditions, restricting him to the city of New Westminster, just southeast of Vancouver.


  1. says

    So let’s take a vote.

    What if the victim was a white girl instead of a gay man…and what if instead of a white youth it were a black man who beat this girl to death with a crowbar…

    Would the prison time be the same?

  2. eclecticon says

    Actually, in this case, the answer is ‘yes, the prison time would be the same.’ Courts in Vancouver are very good about applying sentencing laws the same way across the board. What the news story does NOT say is that the judge, when initially sentencing Cran, hinted that she WANTED to get him for hate crimes, but that since the Crown did not introduce evidence that Webster was gay, she couldn’t apply the statute.

    Don’t blame the system or the legislation on this one. It was a choice over how to prosecute the case by the Crown (for whatever reason) that makes this so distasteful.

  3. D.R.H. says

    Actually, Scooter, it would be the same because it’s Canada. We don’t have the same black/white racial issues as America does and I’m not saying that in an arrogant way. The reason the sentence was so little is because our judicial system is horribly lenient as well as what ECELECTION mentioned.

  4. richard s says

    Cran will be forever changed for his experience. Who will hire him? He will be a bit of a pariah as well. Revenge is not justice. Unless he is psychotic he will be of little risk at this point, one would imagine.
    I am not apologizing for him. Prison is no place for weaklings like this guy.

  5. Ryan says

    I thought something like this was about the worst thing you could do??? And a bat…seriously..? The type of people that just pick up bats and beat people are THE WORST
    (I thought that the main purpose of a prison was to lock up the violent people we can’t control, apparently it’s just some form of payback-punishment WTF).

    …ugh I feel sick.

    BTW I don’t really like the idea of ‘hate-crime’ clauses, but because of how screwed up the system always seems to be…they’re actually MORE fair than without them ….oh god…where does it all lead..???? My head’s spinning LOL
    [I’m laughing on the outside…….]
    [but dying on the inside]

  6. Nathanial says

    Nice to know that you can commit pre-meditated murder in Vancouver and get off with a lousy four f*cking years. I hope that bastard Cran is run down by an out-of-control sewage truck. (Same goes for his fellow-murderer, Danny Rao.)