Court of Appeal to hear from Crown, defence on Alexandre Bissonnette’s sentence

Quebec’s highest court is hearing arguments today on the length of the sentence handed down to convicted Quebec City mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette.

Bissonnette, 30, won’t be present as the Crown and defence plead their cases at the Quebec City courthouse.

He was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 40 years after pleading guilty to killing six men and wounding several others on Jan. 29, 2017 after opening fire at evening prayers.

His attorneys have appealed his sentence, calling the four-decade prison term unreasonable and asking for it to be reduced to 25 years.

The Crown — which had sought six consecutive life sentences amounting to a 150-year prison term — and Quebec’s attorney general counter that the sentence should be increased to 50 years, considering the seriousness of the crimes.

An association of defence attorneys has been granted intervener status and will argue that the Criminal Code contravenes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by allowing judges to impose consecutive life sentences for multiple murders rather than have them served concurrently.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2020.