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View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you.
First of all, I didn't do this with my first intervention, but let me express my great sympathy for the tragedy that has occurred to Marylène Levesque. Her family deserves our sincere condolences and sympathy. This is a terrible tragedy that ought never to happen again.
I want to go back to the situation, as there's been some confusion here about statutory release and this, that and the other thing. I want to quote for the record, from the Parole Board of Canada, information on the website of the Government of Canada. It talks about life sentences. It says:
A life sentence means life. Lifers will never again enjoy total freedom.
...lifers are not entitled to statutory release.
Not all lifers will be granted parole. Some may never be released on parole because they continue to represent too great a risk to re-offend.
The conditions of no parole for 15 years in the case of the life sentence of Mr. Gallese meant that he was not entitled to parole unless he could establish that he would not be a risk. That's very different from statutory release, where you have to get out after serving two-thirds of your sentence. As you pointed out, 60% of the cases are like that.
This is a special case of a person sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife or partner being granted parole. Therefore, a high degree of care has to be taken before a positive decision is made to release this person, who is still serving a life sentence, into the community. Am I right about that?
I direct my question to the Parole Board chair.
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