Bezan: Bernardo Parole Hearing Victimizes Families

OTTAWA – James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman released the following statement today regarding Paul Bernardo’s parole hearing:
“Paul Bernardo is a killer responsible for one of Canada’s most horrific cases of abduction, rape and murder. He is serving a life sentence for his barbaric crimes and is not likely to ever be released from prison.
“Despite that, Paul Bernardo applied for parole and had a hearing yesterday.
“The families of Kristen French, Leslie Mahaffy, and Tammy Homolka were re-victimized yesterday morning, when they had to face Paul Bernardo’s pleas for day release in a self-centered process that treats the victims and their families as an afterthought.
“That is why I tabled my private member’s bill, C-266, the Respecting Families of Murdered and Brutalized Persons Act. This bill will eliminate mandatory parole hearings after 25 years for murderers sentenced to life for a combination of three offences: kidnapping, sexual assault, and murder. Instead, a judge or jury will have the right to increase parole ineligibility to up to 40 years. This will spare the victims’ family members from having to face the trauma of a parole hearing every two years after the murderer has completed 25 years of their sentence; a recurring nightmare the families of Bernardo’s victims now face.
“I am calling on the Minister of Justice, Jody Wilson-Raybould, and the entire Liberal Caucus to join me in supporting the rights of victims of horrific crimes in this country, by voting in favour of my private member’s bill and ensure it becomes law.”