An outrage and a disgrace.
In a ruling that is already being slammed by many outraged Canadians, the Supreme Court of Canada has struck down life without parole for mass murderers.
The court unanimously ruled that a 50-year wait for parole eligibility was “cruel and unusual by nature.”
They said “not only do such punishments bring the administration of justice into disrepute, but they are cruel and unusual by nature.”
“Section 745.51 of the Criminal Code violates section 12 of Charter and is therefore unconstitutional.
Writing for a unanimous Supreme Court, Chief Justice Richard Wagner said section 745.51 of the Criminal Code violates section 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in a way that cannot be justified in a free and democratic society. Section 12 of the Charter guarantees the right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. Its purpose is to protect human dignity and ensure respect for the inherent worth of each individual.
In a case of multiple murders, section 745.51 of the Criminal Code allows a court to impose imprisonment on the offender without a possibility of parole for a period of 50, 75, 100 or even 150 years. This provision “authorizes a court to order an offender to serve an ineligibility period that exceeds the life expectancy of any human being, a sentence so absurd that it would bring the administration of justice into disrepute”, the Chief Justice wrote.
A life sentence without a realistic possibility of parole presupposes the offender is beyond redemption and cannot be rehabilitated. This is degrading in nature and incompatible with human dignity. It amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. “By depriving offenders in advance of any possibility of reintegration into society, section 745.51 shakes the very foundations of Canadian criminal law”, the Chief Justice said.
In light of this conclusion, the Chief Justice declared section 745.51 invalid from the time it was enacted in 2011. As a result, the law that existed before that date continues to apply. This means the offender must serve a life sentence without eligibility for parole for a total of 25 years.”
Alexandre Bissonnette killed six people in his attack on the Islamic Culture Centre in Quebec City in 2017.
Bissonnette will now be eligible for parole in 25 years.
Imagine what the families and friends of his victims are thinking.
They have to face the prospect of the man who killed their loved ones walking free one day.
Bissonnette had been sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 40 years. This was due to a provision passed in 2011 that allowed judges to use discretion and go beyond the usual standard of a 25-year wait for parole eligibility.
A Quebec court had overturned that sentence, and the Supreme Court of Canada agreed.
The decision means that not only will Bissonnette be eligible for parole in 25 years, but every other mass murderer will be as well.
A horrific ruling
There’s no way around this:
The Supreme Court ruling is horrific, and demonstrates how Canada has become a completely upside down place.
The rights of vicious killers are put ahead of the rights of victims and their families.
There’s no compassion for those who are victimized, yet the system finds a bottomless well of sympathy for people who chose to commit horrific acts against others.
Canada’s Supreme Court has let down the entire country and has made Canada a more dangerous place.