What happened to… Supreme Court ruling on Quebec mosque shooting

On this episode of What happened to…? Erica Vella provides an update on the Supreme Court ruling on consecutive sentences in Canada.

The man who killed six men and injured over a dozen others after storming a Quebec City mosque will be eligible for parole after 25 years after a Supreme Court struck down a Criminal Code provision on consecutive sentencing for multiple murderers.

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Read more: Quebec City mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette can apply for parole after 25 years

The unanimous high court decision happened May 27 and declared unconstitutional a 2011 provision that would allow a judge, in the event of multiple murders, to impose a life sentence and parole ineligibility periods of 25 years to be served consecutively for each murder.

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“The Supreme Court said that was not a legitimate option, given what the statute said and … the court determined that it was cruel and unusual punishment and had to be struck down,” said Kent Roach, a professor of law at the University of Toronto faculty of law.

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“The court also opened the door for everyone who has been sentenced under this no discount for multiple murder provision basically to have their sentence reduced to the ordinary mandatory minimum, which is life imprisonment, ineligibility for parole for 25 years.”

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Read more: Quebec City mosque shooter’s 40-year sentence unconstitutional, province’s top court rules

Bissonnette pleaded guilty to six charges of first-degree murder in the January 2017 attack that took place at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City.

The Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec said in a statement the decision did not give due consideration to “the atrocity and scourge of multiple murders” or to the hateful, Islamophobic, racist nature of the crime.

Aymen Derbali was at the mosque the night of the shooting and was critically injured.

Read more: 5th anniversary of Quebec City mosque shooting marked with ceremonies

He said he was disappointed in the Supreme Court ruling.

“When I read the decision of the Supreme Court, I felt a deep deception as a victim of this tragedy,” he said, adding he was surprised by the decision.

“I was expecting this decision to be sincere because I followed the public consultation.”

On this episode of What happened to..? Erica Vella speaks with Derbali about the decision and finds out how the Supreme Court ruling will impact other cases involving multiple murders in Canada.

– with files from The Canadian Press.

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Email: erica.vella@globalnews.ca

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