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Supreme Court of Canada to rule on sentencing for Quebec City mosque shooter

Click to play video: 'Mosque gunman’s sentence reduced, court rules it unconstitutional' Mosque gunman’s sentence reduced, court rules it unconstitutional
The Quebec Court of Appeal has ruled the consecutive life sentences against Alexandre Bissonnette, who murdered six people in a Quebec City mosque in 2017, are unconstitutional. Mike Armstrong explains the decision and how Bissonnette's sentence has been reduced – Nov 26, 2020

The Supreme Court of Canada will rule Friday on the sentencing of a man who went on a deadly shooting spree at a Quebec City mosque.

The high court decision in Alexandre Bissonnette’s case will determine the constitutionality of a key provision on parole eligibility in multiple murder convictions.

Read more: Quebec to seek leave to appeal mosque shooter’s sentence at Supreme Court

Bissonnette pleaded guilty to six charges of first-degree murder in the January 2017 assault that took place just after evening prayers.

In 2019, Bissonnette successfully challenged a 2011 law that allowed a court, 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.

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

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A judge found the provision unconstitutional but did not declare it invalid, ultimately ruling Bissonnette must wait 40 years before applying for parole.

Quebec’s Court of Appeal struck down the sentencing provision on constitutional grounds and said the parole ineligibility periods should be served concurrently, meaning a total waiting period of 25 years in Bissonnette’s case.

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