Bezan tables bill to Increase Parole Ineligibility for Sadistic
James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman has
tabled Bill C-266, “The Respecting Families of Murdered and Brutalized
Persons Act.” This Bill seeks to extend the parole eligibility period
for those convicted of the abduction, sexual assault and murder of an
“I have reintroduced The Respecting Families of Murdered and
Brutalized Persons Act because I want to empower our courts with the
ability to increase parole ineligibility when sentencing individuals who have
been convicted of abduction, sexual assault, and murder, from the current 25
years, up to a maximum of 40 years,” said MP Bezan.
The primary purpose of Bill C-266 is not to ensure that those convicted
are kept behind bars; but rather, to spare the families of victims from having
to attend unnecessary parole hearings every two years after the person’s 25
year sentence expires.
“Sadistic murders who are convicted of the most heinous crimes of
kidnapping, raping and killing their victims are never granted parole.
The ongoing parole board hearings are unnecessary and are extremely
painful for the victims’ families to endure,” said MP Bezan.
In 1975, the judge who sentenced David Threinen to life
in prison, Justice Hughes, stated that Threinen should "never again be on
the streets and roadways of our country."
The potential for a 40 year parole ineligibility period is only
applicable for those convicted of abduction, sexual assault and murder of an
individual. In this Bill, the number of years one could be ineligible for
parole is not a mandatory minimum, but is based on the discretion of the
presiding judge. Similar to other pieces of legislation that use judicial
discretion, should an individual be charged with all three of the crimes listed
in Bill C-266, the courts can set a parole ineligibility period anywhere from
25 to 40 years based on judicial discretion.
In a statement in a Globe and Mail article after Clifford Olson’s
2006 parole hearing, the stepfather of one of Clifford Olson’s victims, Mr.
Rosenfeldt stated, “What's really horrendous
about this [the parole hearing] is this is only the beginning. We're going to
have to do this every two years as long as Olson lives. And this is a very,
very painful experience for myself, my family.”
The seriousness of the offences set out in this bill will ensure that a
parole ineligibility period would only be applied in cases where the murderer’s
moral blameworthiness is very high for abduction, acts of sexual assault, and
murder, and would be applied under judicial discretion, and not a mandatory
minimum. By empowering the courts, rather than prescribing mandatory minimums,
Charter compliance is ensured.
Following MP Bezan's appointment by Prime
Minister Harper to the position of Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of
National Defence, his first version of this bill, Bill C-487, was taken
off of the order paper, which had already passed second reading. Members
of the government (Cabinet Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries) are
prohibited under Parliament Rules and Procedure from tabling Private Members'
Bills. Following this, Colin Mayes, Member of Parliament for Okanagan—Shuswap,
re-introduced this Private Member’s Bill and it progressed to third reading
before the House of Commons rose.
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