Tough sentences not a deterrent
Gosselin also argued that allowing Bissonnette to seek parole after 25 years in prison does not mean he would automatically be freed when he’s 52 years old. The lawyer asked the judge to place his trust in the Parole Board of Canada, which only grants nine per cent of all requests. A person found guilty of first-degree murder is released, on average. after 28.4 years, he said.
“The system before 2011 worked. The parole system works,” Gosselin argued. Incarceration rates in the U.S. are five to six times higher than in Canada, Gosselin reminded Huot, yet murder rates there remain three to four times higher than they are in Canada. He said this proves that an “overly disproportionate” sentence — in this case, one that would be longer than a human life — doesn’t serve the purpose of deterring anyone from committing a similar crime.
“This will not protect society,” he said. Justice minister rejects defence pleaHuot asked Gosselin if he realized the repercussions this constitutional challenge could have on the Canadian judicial system.
The debate has already taken place in other courtrooms across Canada, including in Ontario, where Ontario Superior Court Justice Ken Campbell sentenced Mauro Granados-Arana to consecutive parole ineligibility periods totalling 41 years in prison, for two separate murders. In his ruling, Campbell concluded that Article 745.51 was not contrary to the accused’s charter rights.
Thursday will be the final day of sentencing arguments, before Huot takes a summer break. His decision is expected to come down in September.
Tomorrow, representatives of Quebec’s Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée will present arguments rejecting the defence’s constitutional challenge. In a document submitted to the court last week, Vallée argued that Article 745.51 “was put in place to reflect the tragic nature of multiple murders, by recognizing the value of each life lost.”Survivors of mosque shooting call for maximum sentence
Psychiatrist says Quebec mosque shooter motivated by racism, not ideology Vallée also rejects the argument that “hope” can be used in a judicial context, as Gosselin did, arguing that “denying hope is denying a part of our humanity.”