The Supreme Court’s decision in the Alexandre Bissonnette case restores the fundamental principle of the right to rehabilitation, say jurists who hail the decision, noting that the Quebec mosque killer is serving life in prison until he has convinced the parole board.
• Read too: The Muslim Community Disappointed and Concerned About Orphans
• Read too: Bissonnette can apply for parole after 25 years
For experts consulted by read DailyFriday’s unanimous decision re-establishes the balance between the possibility of rehabilitation and the protection of the public.
“If there was no possibility of release one day, of rehabilitation, what is the point of going to prison in this case? This is the cruel and unusual punishment that the Charter seeks to avoid [canadienne des droits et libertés]“, argues M.and Richard Dubé, noting that the Parole Board has the expertise to analyze files after 25 years.
“They are experts, you have to trust them.”
Examples of a system “that worked” before 2011
As evidence, insist the experts consulted by the read Dailythere are numerous examples from both sides that prove that possible release after 25 years does not guarantee either an automatic right of exit or recidivism once released.
“Let’s remember Denis Lortie. We had seen the drama on TV, we saw that the accused was not stable at the time of the crime, everyone wanted him to spend his life in prison, but he was released by the Commission and proved that he had been rehabilitated.” quotes Mand Rénald Beaudry to illustrate that the Commission has the instruments to properly manage these heavy and complex cases.
And conversely, cases such as Gilles Pimparé, who was denied release nine times, or Paul Bernardo demonstrate that the machine does not need simultaneous sentences to control offenders, according to Ms.and Jean-Claude Hébert.
“Good examples exist on both sides, this is what shows that the system works”, analyzes the lawyer who has been working for 50 years.
“We are going back to the proven basics that reflect the society that is Canada,” says Ms.and Ricardo Dube.
Don’t minimize the suffering
The ruling is yet to cause a stir among Bissonnette’s victims, like other multiple killers convicted since 2011 who could see their concurrent sentence reviewed. This is a disappointment to Daniel Petit, who was parliamentary secretary of justice when the Conservatives passed the law in 2011.
“It’s flat, the message that will be sent is sad for those who have lost a loved one”, reluctantly qualifying the whole thing as a “big victory” for the Mosque killer.
However, the experts consulted believe that the Supreme Court did not question the victims’ suffering in its sentence.
“The judges did not minimize the impact of the gestures, it is clearly underlined, but they weigh everything with the importance that Canada, by its Charter, attaches to human dignity, even for an accused. […] This reminds us that the right to rehabilitation is part of Canadian values”, illustrates Ms.and Beauty.
“If people take the trouble to read the judgment, they will have no choice but to admit that it is a decision that does not come out of nowhere, that it is implemented and, above all, that it is based on the law of other parts of the world. . world, in countries like ours”, adds Jean-Claude Hébert.
A “well explained” decision
Mand Stéphane Beaudry, who submitted a brief to the Supreme Court in this case, also welcomes the President of the Court’s desire to make a decision “accessible” and “not just for jurists”.
The Dentons lawyer and law professor at the University of Montreal says he has never seen such a clear decision-making position in relation to the population he serves.
“There is frankness, he knows that the decision will be received with difficulty because we all know the horror of the crime and we tell you that the addition of sentences is not possible because it is contrary to the Charter. But he recalls that the role of the Judiciary is to reconcile the law with the fundamental values that protect human rights. And it’s said in terms that everyone can understand. It is well explained”, rejoices the lawyer, hailing this turn of the Federal Supreme Court under the authority of Judge Richard Wagner.
“It is part of a clear and commendable desire to democratize the highest court cases in the country and make them accessible, all in an archive of the utmost importance.”
– With the collaboration of Nicolas Saillant
What did they say:
- “This is a very important decision that goes beyond Alexandre Bissonnette and the horror of his crime. It is a decision based on the pillars of the law in Canada, which protects everyone, even the worst criminals, from cruel and unusual punishment.” -Mand Walid Hijazi
- “Cumulative periods of inadmissibility are equivalent to a death sentence in prison and this goes against the fundamental values of our legal system. It reminds us that the Charter is a bit of a law above other laws.” -Mand Stéphane Beaulac, professor of law at the University of Montreal and legal advisor at Dentons
- “Could a parliament try to re-star in the same film and increase eligibility beyond 25? The Supreme Court left a door open by not saying it’s 25 and no more, but by saying there must be hope for rehabilitation in life expectancy. But if I had to bet, I’d say that’s the end of this case.” – Patrick Taillon, professor of constitutional law at Laval University
- “People will probably disagree and say there is no justice, but the role of the Supreme Court is to take a case from a broad perspective. We don’t just analyze the Mosque event in this decision. -Mand Jean-Claude Hébert
- “I understand that people are going to be disappointed. It’s always that: victims’ families think it’s never serious enough and the accused’s families think it’s always too much. That’s why we have fair and impartial courts to decide as we see it. -Mand Renald Beaudry