Quebec mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette to be sentenced Friday

Lester Mason
February 10, 2019

A Quebec judge's "unusual" decision to modify the Criminal Code as he sentenced six-time murderer Alexandre Bissonnette to a life sentence with no possibility of parole for 40 years highlights the ongoing legal debate over consecutive life sentences in Canada, according to legal experts.

Canadian police officers respond to a shooting in a mosque at the Québec City Islamic cultural center on Sainte-Foy Street in Quebec city on January 29, 2017.

This morning, the prosecution is calling for Bissonnette to serve six consecutive life sentences with parole ineligibility for 150 years, making it the longest sentence in Canada history.

The judge began his ruling on Friday by saying the day of the murders 'will forever be written in blood in the history of this city, this province, this country'.

In the end, Huot decided Bissonnette will serve at least 40 years in prison.

He said the sentence did not fully reflect the severity of the crimes committed.

However, that minimum sentence of life in prison with no parole for 25 years is exactly what the defence is calling for.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Francois Huot called Alexandre Bissonnette's attack gratuitous and insidious as he handed down the sentence today.

"QUOTE " httSix men - Aboubaker Thabti, Abdelkrim Hassane, Khaled Belkacemi, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Ibrahima Barry and Azzedine Soufiane - were killed and 19 others were wounded in the shooting, including five critically.

"We were astonished, we were very upset after this sentence", Derbali said.

"Time goes by quickly", he said.

This was a Reuters error as the judge was still reading his judgment. Bissonnette's parents were also present. He referred to numerous attacks in Europe as well as the 2014 shooting in Ottawa outside Parliament and said he "lost it" after learning Canada was preparing to take in more refugees.

Following hearings previous year, the sentence was expected to be handed down in October, but the judge delayed it to have more time to ponder his decision.

Several of the survivors and the victims' families had argued for a sentenced that required more than 25 years before parole eligibility, noting the heinous nature of the crime and the lasting trauma it caused for the Muslim community.

But Bissonnette's lawyer, Charles-Olivier Gosselin, portrayed his client as an anxious and fragile man who deeply regrets his actions and is not beyond rehabilitation.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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