Life sentence for Quebec mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette

Life sentence for Quebec mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette

Bissonnette's parents and members of Quebec City's Muslim community were present for the sentencing.

The judge told Bissonnette, wearing a blue blazer and white shirt, to leave the prisoners' box and stand in front of him as he read the ruling.

The sentencing of Alexandre Bissonnette by Quebec Superior Court Judge François Huot is being closely watched for its legal repercussions, since the 29-year-old faces the possibility of an unprecedented 150 years in jail without the chance of parole.

"QUOTE " httSix men - Aboubaker Thabti, Abdelkrim Hassane, Khaled Belkacemi, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Ibrahima Barry and Azzedine Soufiane - were killed and 19 others were wounded in the shooting, including five critically. Several people in the room wept as the judge read a detailed account of the shooter's actions.

The January 2017 shooting, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced as a "terrorist attack", provoked debate over the treatment of new arrivals at a time when a growing number of migrants crossed from the United States into the province of Quebec.

While first-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence, Huot said he had to decide how long Bissonnette would have to wait before he could ask for parole. Prior to the change, someone found guilty of first-degree murder faced a mandatory life term, but was eligible to apply for parole after 25 years.

'I am ashamed of what I did, ' he said at the time, according to BBC.

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But Huot said Bissonnette had previously considered attacking other targets including feminists, shopping centres and airports. He referred to numerous attacks and said he "lost it" after learning Canada was preparing to take in more refugees.

But in a police interrogation, Bissonnette told investigators he wanted to protect his family from terrorists when he committed the killings.

"His crimes were truly motivated by race and a visceral hatred toward Muslim immigrants", the judge said, adding that his crimes were "premeditated, gratuitous and abject".

Prosecutor Thomas Jacques had argued that a 150-year sentence would be proportionate to the "carnage" inflicted on the city's Muslim community and the trauma suffered by the rest of the country.

But Rénald Beaudry, a criminal lawyer who was at Bissonnette's sentencing, doesn't think the sentence will be so easy to overturn.

However, Huot said under Canadian law he could only decide in 25-year tranches on parole, CBC News' Catou MacKinnon reported, and 50 years was "clearly excessive".

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