Courts, Corrections, Incarceration

Anything related to the court system, sentencing of offenders, or incarceration issues

Quebec mosque shooter’s sentence appealed

The Supreme Court of Canada agreed today to review the sentencing of a man who shot six persons to death at a Quebec City mosque in 2017. Alexandre Bissonnette, who pled guilty to six counts each of first-degree murder and attempted murder in 2018, was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 40 years. Quebec’s appeal court ruled last November that he would be eligible to apply for parole after 25 years, saying that a Criminal Code provision for consecutive life sentences is unconstitutional. [node:read-more:link]

Petroleum industry ruling unprecedented?

In what is being described as a precedent-setting judgment, Royal Dutch Shell has been ordered by a court in The Netherlands to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions in that country by 45 per cent from 2019 levels by 2030. A spokesman for the petroleum giant said it expects to appeal the ruling in the case brought by Friends of the Earth along with six other organizations and thousands of Dutch citizens. [node:read-more:link]

Iran completes prisoner swap

Iran has freed a British-Australian academic sentenced to 10 years for espionage in return for the released of three Iranians jailed “who had been detained abroad” on what Tehran says were “baseless charges.” [node:read-more:link]

Killer’s sentence “cruel and unusual”

In the first ruling by a Canadian court on the constitutionality of consecutive sentencing, Quebec’s Court of Appeal has ruled that the 40-year prison sentence of Alexandre Bisonnette, who killed six persons and critically injured several others at a Quebec City mosque in 2017, was “cruel and unusual.” Employing Criminal Code amendments passed by Parliament in 2011, the trial judge imposed five concurrent 25-year sentences and added 15 years on behalf of the survivors. The appellate court said he should have been sentenced to 25 years without parole. [node:read-more:link]

Two Michaels and Meng Wanzhou

Nearly two years after Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver at the request of the U.S., a company spokesman says it put Canada in a “very difficult” position. Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were detained by China days after Meng’s arrest. The Huawei spokesman says China respects “the rule of law” and that while he understands that their families are hopeful for their repatriation, China is hopeful to see Meng released. [node:read-more:link]

Hong Kong activists jailed

Three leading pro-democracy activists involved in last year’s mass protests against stricter Chinese control of Hong Kong have been jailed after being found guilty of unlawful. Their sentences range from seven to 13.5 months. [node:read-more:link]

Deal offered in Meng case?

The U.S. Department of Justice is reported to be discussing a possible deal with Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, detained in Vancouver for years pending the outcome of an extradition hearing. It apparently would permit her to return to China if she simply admits wrongdoing in a case involving U.S. sanctions against Iran. [node:read-more:link]

Cameron Ortis case an intriguing web

The RCMP’s decision to charge its head of intelligence, Cameron Ortis, with leaking secrets evidently was due to the involvement of a U.S. gambler who also is an FBI informant. R.J. Cipriani says that concern about being drawn into criminal activity through the Internet led to another individual being convicted of drug trafficking and that the FBI, in pursuing that case, led to a B.C. company to which Ortis, whose trial is ongoing, is alleged to have offered secret information. [node:read-more:link]

Two Michaels “robust”

Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, the Canadians nearing the second anniversary of their detention in China, have been described as “robust” and “impressive” by Canada’s ambassador to China. Dominic Barton reported from Beijing on their situation during a virtual parliamentary committee hearing. “They are robust,” he said. “You would be very impressed by seeing both of them.” [node:read-more:link]

Two Michaels already tried?

Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, the Canadians arrested and detained in China two years ago, are reported to have been prosecuted and tried on alleged espionage charges. A foreign ministry spokeswoman said Dec. 9 that they had been tried but the Canadian government was still seeking clarification the following day because an earlier statement to the same effect was retracted. [node:read-more:link]

Hassan Diab “travesty” continues

Despite having to abandon its prosecution of University of Ottawa professor Hassan Diab last January due to a demonstrable lack of evidence, the French court system is trying again to put him on trial on for his alleged involvement of a synagogue bombing in Paris in 1980. The court of cassation, France’s highest court of appeal, overturned the lower court’s ruling today in a ruling his Ottawa lawyer called a “travesty of justice” due to political pressure. [node:read-more:link]

Turkish Wikipedia ban ruled illegal

Nearly three years after Turkey blocked access to Wikipedia when the site refused to delete critical material, the country's Constitutional Court has ruled that the ban violated freedom of expression. The articles said, among other things, that Ankara had cooperated with Islamic State and al-Qaeda forces in Syria. [node:read-more:link]

India net shutdown criticized

The Indian government's prolonged internet shutdown in its Kashmir administrative revion has been criticized by the country’s Supreme Court. Responding to a number of petitions, the court has given the government a week to review its decision. [node:read-more:link]

CSIS sued by Muslim analyst

The Canadian Security Intelligence Services is being sued for racial and religious discrimination by a longtime employee who alleges that his Muslim faith marked him as a target. File last week in Federal Court, the action alleges a pattern of bullying and prejudice stretching back almost two decades. [node:read-more:link]

VW pays record pollution fine

Volkswagen Group has been fined $196.5 million in the Ontario Court of Justice after pleading guilty to having illegally imported 130,000 VW, Audi and Porsche automobiles that violated emissions standards. The company and the federal government had agreed to the penalty handed down 22 January by Judge Enzo Rondinelli. [node:read-more:link]


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