Toronto criminal lawyer Ed Prutschi discussed the sentencing of the Mosque Shooter, Alexandre Bissonnette, with Jerry Agar on NewsTalk1010.
Bissonnette pleaded guilty to six counts of first-degree murder and six counts of attempted murder. The Crown has threatened him with up to 150 years in prison to be served consecutively. This means he would serve his sentences back to back, rather than concurrently.
Bissonnette’s lawyer is arguing that stacking life sentences is unconstitutional and that it is essentially a death sentence. The death penalty is illegal in Canada. However, Prutschi says the defense’s case is weak. Bissonnette is far from the ideal poster child for a constitutional challenge. The Crown isn’t executing Bissonnette, they are simply saying that until he dies a natural death he should remain in prison.
Consecutive sentencing is nothing new in Canada. In fact, criminal lawyer Prutschi says it’s used sparingly, reserved for the worst cases. Even if they didn’t stack his sentences, Canada has indeterminable sentencing, meaning if someone is deemed to be such a threat and committed such horrible acts, they can be detained in prison even after their sentence is up.
Prutschi says the defense likely won’t win. Every victim needs justice and the sentencing should reflect that.