Quebec City mosque shooter sentenced to life with no parole for 40 years
10 February, 2019, 23:30
A Canadian judge has sentenced a man accused of killing six men at a Quebec City mosque to life in prison with no chance for parole for 40 years.
Alexandre Bissonnette arrives at the court house in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
On January 29, 2017, Bissonnette burst into the Quebec City mosque and unleashed a hail of bullets on the 40 men and four children who were chatting among themselves after evening prayers.
He pleaded guilty last March to six charges of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder.
The Crown had recommended that his six life sentences be served consecutively, which would have totalled 150 years. The defence argued the sentences should be served concurrently, which would have made him eligible for parole after 25 years.
"The US Supreme Court would not find a 150-year (term) cruel and unusual punishment", Huot said earlier in the day, but added "punishment should not be vengeance".
As the 246-page verdict was read over six hours, Bissonnette sat quietly in the courtroom, gazing at his feet while his parents and several friends and family of the victims wiped tears from their eyes.
The six men killed were Ibrahima Barry, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Abdelkrim Hassane, Aboubaker Thabti and Azzeddine Soufiane.
Bissonnette also told a psychiatrist that he regretted not killing more people.
People hold candles for victims of Sunday's deadly shooting at a Quebec City mosque, during a vigil in Montreal on Monday, Jan. 30, 2017.
Shortly after his arrest, Bissonnette told police that the attack was motivated by immigration in Canada. In a statement read in court, he said he was "neither a terrorist nor an Islamophobe", but rather someone who was "overcome by fear, by negative thoughts and a sort of frightful kind of despair".
Huot concluded that consecutive sentences were "unreasonable" and that sending a criminal to die in prison would go against Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, according to the report.
"No matter the outcome of today's decision, nothing can diminish the incredible support & solidarity felt by many Canadian Muslims in the wake of the attack, and during the past 2 years", the group said on Twitter.
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