Ottawa, ON – Yesterday, Member of Parliament James Bezan’s Private Member’s Bill C-266, The Respecting Families of Murdered and Brutalized Persons Act passed second reading.
“I have been working on The Respecting Families of Murdered and Brutalized Persons Act since 2013 as a way of making our justice system more fair, compassionate and just for the families of victims,” MP Bezan said. “I am pleased Liberal MPs voted to send it to the justice committee for further study.”
Bill C-266 will give our judges and juries the ability to prescribe a parole ineligibility period between 25 and 40 years for those convicted of abduction and sexual assault and murder of their victim(s). Currently, these criminals can begin applying for parole at year 23 and every two years thereafter, despite rarely being granted parole.
“The families of these victims have gone through every parent’s worst nightmare and they should be saved from the agony of the unnecessary and traumatic parole board hearings,” MP Bezan said. “These are the most brutal and sadistic murderers who have preyed on our loved ones by kidnapping and brutally assaulting them. Now, these criminals are victimizing the families again by forcing them to relive how their loved ones were murdered.”
Terri Prioriello-Armour has advocated for this Bill since its first appearance in the House of Commons in 2013. Her sister Darlene was brutally murdered by David James Dobson in 1982.
“I live every day feeling the absence of my sister, and my family has had to advocate many times to make sure that he remains behind bars and unable to murder again,” Prioriello-Armour said. “Listening to my mother read a victim impact statement at a parole hearing was like she was burying Dolly all over again. Families should not have to go through this agony over and over again. This Bill really will make a difference and seeing it pass this vote gives me hope.”
Bill C-266 will now be studied by the Standing Committee for Justice and Human Rights.
For additional Information:
Dana Seymour, Executive Assistant
Office of James Bezan, MP