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Canada Muslim massacre convict’s sentence set back from 40 to 25

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Undated picture shows Alexandre Bissonnette, who murdered seven Muslims in Quebec City in 2017, during a court appearance.

The Court of Appeal in Quebec decides that a man from the province that murdered seven Muslims in an attack on a mosque there in 2017 can appeal for parole after 25 years instead of the 40 he had originally been handed down.

The court made the decision concerning the convict, Alexandre Bissonnette, on Thursday, Canada’s CTV News network reported.

Now 31, Bissonnette walked into the Quebec City’s Islamic Cultural Center on January 29 that year and began to calmly unleash deadly fire on the 40 men and four children, who were present there at the time.

During the slaughter, he retreated to a safe area to reload his nine-millimeter pistol at least four times. The bloodshed that, according to a witness at his trial, went on "like he was playing a video game," also seriously injured five others, including one, who was paralyzed from waist down.

Although eligible to receive two consecutive life terms amounting to 150 years in jail, Quebec Superior Court Justice Francois Huot decided last year that a ruling of such proportions would be “cruel and unusual.” He, therefore, decided that Bissonnette should instead serve the sentences “concurrently.”

This is while in 2011, the Canadian Criminal Code was amended to allow life sentences to be served one after another.

Despite practically rewriting the Canadian law in deciding on the legal proceeding, the judge failed to extend his self-styled reading to Bissonnette’s parole eligibility threshold.

The murderer’s lawyers seized on the opportunity to protest the mismatch between the two decisions and asked the Appeals Court that he should be able to apply for parole earlier than is allowed in the Criminal Code.

Aymen Derbali, who was shot seven times during the atrocity and left with the paralysis, called the reduced sentence as "unjust."

He noted that several recent Canadian mass murderers have received consecutive sentences. "Why will (Bissonnette), who killed six in such a massacre, have 25 years?" the victim asked.

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