Our Support and Thoughts To Moncton RCMP Family

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Re: Our Support and Thoughts To Moncton RCMP Family

Post by Guest on Sun 26 Oct 2014, 18:05

Moncton shooter faces possibility of harshest sentence

MONCTON, N.B. -- When Justin Bourque appears in court Monday, he faces the harshest sentence since the death penalty was abolished for fatally shooting three Mounties and wounding two others in Moncton in early June.

However, legal scholars say it's unlikely the 24-year-old will face the maximum penalty -- 75 years in prison before he is eligible to apply for parole -- given his age and lack of a criminal record.

In early August, Bourque pleaded guilty to three charges of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.

A single conviction for first-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence and a ban on applying for parole for 25 years. However, Judge David Smith of the Court of Queen's Bench has said the Crown wants him to use a 2011 amendment to the Criminal Code that allows judges to extend parole ineligibility in the case of multiple murders.

In this case, Smith could decide that the 25-year ineligibility period for each murder conviction should be imposed consecutively, which means Bourque wouldn't be allowed to apply for parole until he was 99 years old.

The Harper government changed the law to eliminate what it called the "volume discount" for multiple murderers.

The law has been used only once since it was changed. In September 2013, a judge in Edmonton sentenced an armoured-car guard to life in prison with no chance at parole for 40 years for gunning down four of his colleagues during a robbery in June 2012.

Travis Baumgartner had pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and a charge of attempted murder.

It was the toughest criminal penalty since Canada's last executions in 1962.

Baumgartner was facing a 75-year parole ineligibility period, but the judge cited mitigating factors, including his age, lack of a criminal record and his guilty pleas, which prevented a prolonged trial.

It's for these same reasons that law professor Isabel Grant believes Bourque will be given a lighter sentence.

"I would be surprised if the court imposed 75 years on someone his age," said Grant, who teaches at the University of British Columbia. "To make the jump to 75 years would be quite dramatic."

As well, Grant said the judge may consider mental illness as a mitigating factor during the two-day hearing.

Though Bourque was recently found competent to stand trial after undergoing a psychiatric assessment, an affidavit filed by his father Victor says that in the 18 months before the shootings, Justin Bourque's mental or emotional state deteriorated to the point he was "ranting and raging against all authority.
The affidavit says the young man went from living peacefully with his parents and six siblings in Moncton to buying guns, getting kicked out of the house and becoming depressed and paranoid.

Allan Manson, a law professor at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., said the judge has to be careful not to impose a sentence that could be the subject of a constitutional challenge on the grounds it amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.

"There is ample evidence of serious psychological effects that stem from long-term incarceration," Manson said in an interview.

Archie Kaiser, a law professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, said the Criminal Code states that when consecutive sentences are imposed, they should not be "unduly long or harsh."

"A person ... sentenced to serving his or her whole life in penitentiary could effectively lose hope," he said.

"Saying that somebody has to be in prison for that long also diminishes one's confidence in the ability of the prison system to rehabilitate inmates. ... It does begin to look more like vengeance and less like a fit and appropriate sentence."

An agreed statement of facts filed with the court says Bourque's "actions were both planned and deliberate" when he used a Poly Technologies M305, 308-calibre semi-automatic rifle to kill constables Dave Ross, Fabrice Gevaudan and Douglas Larche.

The officers were responding to a report of a man carrying firearms in a residential neighbourhood in the northwest area of Moncton on June 4.

Constables Eric Dubois and Darlene Goguen were wounded and later released from hospital

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/moncton-shooter-faces-possibility-of-harshest-sentence-1.2071753#ixzz3HI7hH51Y


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Judge convicts RCMP in Moncton shooting, saying it left officers 'ill-prepared'

Post by Guest on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 08:46

Judge convicts RCMP in Moncton shooting, saying it left officers 'ill-prepared'

Published Friday, September 29, 2017 7:45AM ADT
Last Updated Friday, September 29, 2017 8:37PM ADT

MONCTON, N.B. -- RCMP officers were caught outgunned and "ill-prepared" to confront a gunman who targeted them on a warm summer night in 2014, a judge ruled Friday as he convicted the national police force of failing to provide its members with adequate use-of-force equipment and user training.

Judge Leslie Jackson was harshly critical of how long it took the RCMP to equip its officers with carbine rifles ahead of the Moncton attack, which left three Mounties dead and two others injured.

Justin Bourque had targeted police officers in hopes of sparking an anti-government rebellion.

"It is clear to me that the use-of-force equipment available to those members on June 4, 2014, left them ill-prepared to engage an assailant armed with an automatic rifle," the provincial court judge said in his 64-page decision.

Rank and file members told the Labour Code trial they were outgunned by Bourque, who roamed a Moncton neighbourhood and opened fired on officers as people walked dogs and children played in yards nearby.

Constables Fabrice Gevaudan, Dave Ross and Doug Larche were killed, while constables Eric Dubois and Darlene Goguen were injured in the shootings.

The C8 carbine rifle was a central focus of the trial. The high-powered weapons were not available to general duty officers at the time of the Moncton shootings, and numerous witnesses who testified said they could have made a difference.

Carbine rifles were approved for use in 2011, but their rollout was delayed on several occasions.

The judge noted that Alphonse MacNeil, a retired assistant RCMP commissioner who conducted an independent review of the shootings for the force, stated during the trial that at the time of his review, he said the rollout of the patrol carbine program should be expedited.
"I agree with MacNeil's conclusion. The rollout took too long, even allowing for all the variables and challenges," said Jackson.

"A real concern for the health and safety of front-line members... would have seen a rollout of the patrol carbine prioritized and not left to the vagrancies of available funding."

The judge also accused RCMP leadership -- who were unanimous in saying officers were adequately equipped -- of sticking to "talking points designed to be the justification for their position" during testimony at the trial.

"Their opinion is based on their observations made from the comfort and security of their offices; however the view of the responding officers who were facing imminent danger that day is different," he said.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Friday's decision "carries important implications" and that the Trudeau government would be studying it carefully.

"We need to make sure that the training, the equipment and the support services are there to put those officers in the position of doing the very best job they can to keep the community safe and at the same time, to keep themselves safe," said Goodale in Regina on Friday.

Jackson found the Crown did not prove its case on two other Labour Code violations, and issued a judicial stay on a fourth charge.
The wives of the three fallen officers sat quietly in the packed Moncton courtroom amongst Mounties in plain clothes and at least one trial witness as the verdicts were read out during the brief hearing.

"I felt all along that if the RCMP members would have had the proper equipment that my husband would not have died and the father of my children would not have died," Doug Larche's wife, Nadine, said outside the courthouse, across the road from a life-sized bronze monument of her husband and the two other slain officers.

"My hope really is that the silver lining of all of this is that RCMP members that are serving now and in the future will be better equipped and that they'll be safer."

Angela Gevaudan, wife of Fabrice, said she felt "vindicated." She said the RCMP's decision to fight the Labour Code charges had hurt the policing community.

"It's been very disheartening to have these charges challenged in the first place," she said. "I think it breaks the trust and I think the members are still very hurt and feel unsupported and I think that needs to be addressed."

Cpl. Patrick Bouchard echoed that sentiment, saying senior leadership needs to listen to its members when it comes to responding to their needs. Bouchard worked alongside the Mounties who died and in June wrote an open letter on Facebook condemning the testimony of then-commissioner Bob Paulson in the trial.

Paulson had testified that management had concerns over the possible militarization of the force.

"When the organization fails -- and it's been proven today -- that it fails to support the rank and file these tragedies happen," Bouchard said Friday outside the courthouse. "This is why the RCMP needs to step it up and listen to the rank and file to what we need."

Lawyer Mark Ertel, who represented the RCMP at the trial, said Friday "it's too early to tell" whether the force will appeal.

But Const. Louis Philippe Theriault, president of the Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada, urged the RCMP to accept responsibility for not properly equipping members.

"I don't think tragedies can be avoided, but I think the magnitude of those tragedies can be mitigated if we have proper equipment," he said.

Ertel said they hope to detail what the RCMP has done to equip its officers at the Nov. 23 sentencing hearing.

Crown attorney Paul Adams said the RCMP had been convicted of "what I would categorize as a very serious offence and I expect we'll be approaching it that way when it comes to an appropriate sentence."

In a statement issued from RCMP headquarters in Ottawa, the force says it will review the decision and consider the next steps.
Jackson found the force guilty under the Labour Code of failing to provide its members with the appropriate use-of-force equipment and user training when responding to an active threat or active shooter in an open environment.

But the force was found not guilty of failing to provide its members and supervisors with the appropriate training for an active shooter event.

Jackson said the available training enabled officers to respond to the threat they faced and additional training noted by the Crown during the trial did not exist prior to June 4, 2014.

He stayed a charge of failing to ensure, in general, the health and safety of its members.

The defence argued at the trial that the RCMP exercised due diligence in its rollout of patrol carbines, while the Crown argued management knew front-line officers were at risk and the rollout of carbines took too long.

From left: Const. Dave Joseph Ross, Const. Fabrice Georges Gevaudan and Const. Douglas James Larche appear in photos released by the RCMP. They were fatally shot by a gunman in Moncton on Wednesday, June 4, 2014.



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