Justin Bourque Case Study

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In June 2014, Justin Bourque was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder after shooting three RCMP officers and wounding two others in Moncton, New Brunswick (Chronicle Herald 2014). He was subsequently convicted and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for seventy-five years (Chronicle Herald 2014). Bourque’s sentencing is unprecedented and is the longest sentence in Canadian history (Chronicle Herald 2014). A Canadian judge has not given a harsh a punishment since the final executions in 1962 (Chronicle Herald 2014). I believe my case study would be best suited after the chapter on sentencing. This would be beneficial to students as after reading about the history of sentencing…show more content…
The only person in Canadian history to receive a similar sentence as Bourque was Travis Baumgater. Baumgater shot four of his former co-workers, three fatally, during a robbery on the University of Alberta campus in June 2012. He was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for forty years (CBC 2013). The Chief Crown prosecutor in Baumgater’s case, Steve Bilodeau, had similar thinking to Cameron Gunn. After the sentencing, Bilodeau stated, “the sentence sends a message that in cases of multiple murder, it matters that more than one person has died” (CBC 2013). His thinking was aligned with Gunn’s as Bioldeau wanted his sentence to also showcase denunciation and act as a deterrent. Just like Bourque’s sentence, it focused on sending a message towards society, rather than focusing on the individual needs of the offender. Despite Baumgater’s sentencing, Justin Bourque still committed his heinous crimes, a mere two years…show more content…
Being eligible for parole results in prisoners behaving better, as they will eventually be rewarded for their good behaviour (Stanford Report). This is not only beneficial to the individual offender, but to other offenders in the prison and for the general public as well. Research suggests that harsher prison conditions lead offenders to commit more crime after they are released (Chen and Shapiro). Thus, if Bourque is acting violent and unruly (aka not complying with good behaviour rules), it could have a negative effect on other inmates and public
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