Montreal

Quebec's attorney general seeks to challenge mosque shooter sentence in Supreme Court

Quebec's attorney general and the Crown prosecutor's office will ask the Supreme Court of Canada to weigh in on the sentencing of the man who killed six people and injured several others during the 2017 shooting at a Quebec City Mosque.

Quebec Court of Appeal described original sentence as 'cruel and unusual'

Quebec's attorney general plans to challenge a recent Court of Appeal decision on the sentencing of the man who killed six men in a Quebec City mosque in 2017. The names of those who were killed are inscribed in stone at a memorial in Quebec City. The leaves linking the plinths are based on maple and elm leaves collected at the site, and stylized in the artistic traditions of the victims' birth countries. (Julia Page/CBC)

Quebec's attorney general and the Crown prosecutor's office are taking the sentencing of the man who killed six men in a Quebec City mosque to the Supreme Court of Canada.

In 2019, Alexandre Bissonnette was sentenced to life in prison for the 2017 attack, with no chance of parole before 40 years.

Last November, however, Bissonnette's parole eligibility period was reduced to 25 years, after Quebec's Court of Appeal described the original sentence as ''cruel and unusual" and unanimously ruled in favour of the defence's arguments.

The attorney general and the Crown prosecutor's office announced plans to appeal the Court of Appeal's ruling to the Supreme Court in a joint statement released Friday.

The request to have the case heard by the Supreme Court opens the door to a possible ruling on the sentencing provisions that Stephen Harper's Conservative government introduced in 2011.

Since then, several convicted murderers have been given consecutive life sentences, including Justin Bourque, who is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 75 years for killing three RCMP officers in Moncton, N.B., in 2014.

Conservative MP and House Leader Gérard Deltell took to Twitter to applaud the decision to take the case to the Supreme Court.

He pointed out that the current Liberal government has not struck down the sentencing provisions allowing for consecutive life sentences.

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