Allan Schoenborn is not in fact a "convicted child murderer". To be convicted of crime there must be both the actus reus (the criminal act) and you must also have the mens rea (criminal intent) to be convicted of a crime.
If you do not have the requisite and specific mens rea
to commit the crime of murder then you cannot be convicted of murder. Allan Schoenborn was found by the court to be "not criminally responsible by reason of a mental disorder" (NCRMD in legal jargon) and committed to an indeterminate sentence in forensic psychiatric unit. It is an updated version the old verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity. In this case he was found to have committed the act but he was not convicted of the crime.
16. (1) No person is criminally responsible for an act committed or an omission made while suffering from a mental disorder that rendered the person incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of the act or omission or of knowing that it was wrong.
(2) Every person is presumed not to suffer from a mental disorder so as to be exempt from criminal responsibility by virtue of subsection (1), until the contrary is proved on the balance of probabilities.
(3) The burden of proof that an accused was suffering from a mental disorder so as to be exempt from criminal responsibility is on the party that raises the issue.
As the judge wrote at the time of sentencing:
The Crown has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Schoenborn did commit first degree murder when he killed each of his three children.
 The only question is whether or not s. 16 of the Code applies and whether or not Mr. Schoenborn should be found criminally responsible.
Section 16 – Mental Disorder Defence or NCRMD
 The present Code refers to a mental disorder. In the past the Code used the word “insanity”. In discussing the Code as it stood in 1990 before the amendments, Mr. Justice Lamer, speaking for the majority of the Supreme Court of Canada, said in R. v. Chaulk, 62 C.C.C. (3d) 193 (SCC):
…some basic assumptions of our criminal law model: that the accused is a rational autonomous being who is capable of appreciating the nature and quality of an act and of knowing right from wrong. … With the state of insanity, these basic assumptions are brought into question because the accused is suffering from some disease of the mind or from some delusions which cause him or her to have a frame of reference which is significantly different than that which most people share. This mental condition means that the accused is largely incapable of criminal intent and should not, therefore, generally be subject to criminal liability in the same way that sane people are.
Mr. Justice Lamer referred to it as an exemption from the criminal liability. Madam Justice McLachlin in a later decision referred to it as an exemption from criminal responsibility (R. v. Oommen, 91 C.C.C. (3d) 8).
 Section 16 recognizes that in some cases a person charged with a crime may suffer from a mental disorder that is so severe that we cannot hold them criminally responsible for what they have done however serious the nature or consequences of their crime.
 The question, however, is whether Mr. Schoenborn’s mental disorder so obstructed his thought process as to render him incapable of knowing that his acts would, under all the circumstances, be considered wrong by the ordinary moral standards of reasonable men and women? Whether his mental state was so disordered that he was unable to rationally consider whether his actions were right or wrong in the way a normal person would? Did he have the capacity to know that his acts were something he ought not to do in the eyes of ordinary reasonable people? Section 16 may apply even though a person knows in the general sense that they should not commit a crime. They may still believe, because of the mental disorder, that their actions are right according to the ordinary morals of society in the particular circumstances.
 The psychiatric evidence is that a paranoid delusional person who is psychotic at the time they are acting may appear to be acting in a deliberate way, but still be operating under their delusions.
 Dr. O’Shaughnessy for the defence and Dr. Lohrasbe for the Crown were very clear in their opinions. They are both of the opinion that if Mr. Schoenborn was psychotic at the time he killed his children then because of his psychosis he would not be able to rationally consider whether his actions were right or wrong. I take from this that he may try to reason the matter out, but because of his break with reality, disordered thinking and delusional beliefs, he would not be able to make a rational choice between right and wrong.
 Therefore, I find that Mr. Schoenborn did commit the first degree murder of each of his children as described in the Indictment, but is not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder.
In the result under the Criminal Code he was not convicted but given an indeterminate sentence in a secure forensic psychiatric ward with annual reviews of his mental status due to NCRMD.
I know the reporter Suzanne Fournier fairly well (she has interviewed me on a number of occasions regarding legal matters) and she is usually much more careful in her writing than to get such a basic fact wrong. She is either having a bad day or has chosen to write sensationalist prose.
Neal Hall of the Vancouver Sun got the facts right and as he notes it is not certain that Schoenborn will in fact be granted the escorted day pass as this is only a recommendation. The final decision will be made the director of the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, who must assess Schoenborn's mental state and decide if he is ready for short escorted absences from the hospital.
A father who killed his three children in 2008 has been granted restricted, escorted access to the community, the B.C. Review Board concluded in a decision released today.
The decision comes a year after Allan Dwayne Schoenborn, now 42, was found by a judge not criminally responsible for killing his three children in Merritt.
At a hearing Tuesday, Schoenborn requested through his lawyer that he be allowed to occasionally go to Starbucks for a coffee or to go swimming with a group of patients from the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Port Coquitlam, where he resides in custody after being found not criminally responsible for the murder of his children because of a mental disorder.
But it doesn't mean Schoenborn will be granted access to the community immediately.
That decision now rests with the director of the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, who must assess Schoenborn's mental state and decide if he is ready for short escorted absences from the hospital.
"What we've approved is the director's request for discretion to consider escorted leave," B.C. Review Board chair Bernd Walter said today.
The B.C. Review Board, in its annual review of Schoenborn to assess his threat to the community, decided to grant Schoenborn's application under strict conditions:
- That he should have escorted access to the community at the discretion of the director of the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, having regard to his mental condition and the risk he poses to himself or others;
- That he not acquire, possess or use any firearm, explosive or offensive weapon;
- That he abstain from using alcohol or any drugs except as approved by a medical practitioner;
- That the director may monitor the accused's compliance by using urinalysis testing on demand;
- That Schoenborn have no contact with his former wife, Darcie Clarke.
In 2008, while visiting the home of his estranged wife while she was out, Schoenborn stabbed to death his daughter Kaitlynne, 10, and smothered his sons Max, 8, and Cordon, 5.
The mother came home to find the children dead and cryptic messages written on the wall in what appeared to be blood (but later found to be soy sauce).
The killer then hid out in the hills around Merritt for days until he was found by a trapper and arrested.
Schoenborn was charged with three counts of first-degree murder. The Crown theory at trial was that he killed his children as revenge against his ex-wife.
Days before the murders, Schoenborn appeared at his children's school in a disheveled state and uttered threats. He was arrested but released on bail.
After a lengthy trial, the judge found Schoenborn not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder (NCRMD), which used to be called an insanity verdict.
A forensic psychiatrist testified that Schoenborn was delusional and possibly schizophrenic.
Since the verdict, Schoenborn has been in secure custody at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, which houses people who are not mentally fit to stand trial and those found not criminally responsible for their crimes.
On April 6, 2010, the review board found that while Schoenborn had improved, he was still suffering from delusional thoughts, he had had a striking sense of entitlement and a "profound lack of insight into his illness."
The board also found that Schoenborn is "obsessed by or fixated on" his ex-wife, so he still posed a "significant threat."
Tuesday's disposition, signed by review board chair Bernd Walter, will be reviewed in 12 months.