Can a triple murderer have hope, however slim, of getting out of prison one day? This is the issue debated this week, at the Gatineau courthouse, in one of the most significant cases in the Outaouais during the last decade.
E n May Ramsurrun Shakti, now aged 34, was convicted of the unpremeditated murder of his ex-wife Anne-Katherine Powers, and the premeditated murder of his mother, Louise Leboeuf, and the Joint this one, Claude Lévesque.
The triple murder occurred as part of a family drama, on the night of May 23-24, 2012, in the Aylmer sector.
The prison sentence for life, with no possibility of parole before age 25, is automatic in cases of premeditated murder.
The sentence for murder without premeditation is also a life sentence, but the possibility of parole may vary.
In this case, the Crown requires 15 years minimum.
The Crown wants to add these two parole eligibility periods, for a total of 40 years, not 25.
The ministry agrees that Shakti Ramsurrun will first serve two concurrently premeditated murders, but wants to add the murder without premeditation of Anne-Katherine Powers (minimum 15 years).
Instead of having permission to apply for parole in 2037, Shakti Ramsurrun could only apply for parole in 2052, if Justice Eric Downs agrees with the Crown.
“These are three actions, three different intentions,” says Crown Attorney Sylvain Petitclerc. The fact that there is a spouse involved is an aggravating factor. If all three sentences were served concurrently (25 years minimum), the sentence for Anne-Katherine would go into the butter. ”
Defense attorney Richard Dubé had his client and Professor Emeritus of Law at Queen’s University, Allan Manson, testify.
According to Mr. Dubé, the system must allow the litigant to “keep hope”, even behind bars in the context of a sentence of life imprisonment.
“Do not throw away the key,” said Dubé. You have to look at the character of the person. If Mr. is recoverable in 25 years, he will still be 15 years old. What are we doing now? It is immoral and illegal. He’s a good boy caught in a terrible story. And that, I remind you, remains a prison for life. ”
Mr. Dubé had the professor and his client testify to raise the term “hope” in the speech of the two people. The academic has published numerous studies on this principle, which he considers important in trusting the judicial system and the right to social reintegration.
The murderer, who says he wants to improve, says that the hope of better days will allow him to take better control of himself.
“We must adapt a sentence to Shakti Ramsurrun, not to the number of murders,” Dubé said.
Shakti Ramsurrun, originally from Mauritius, fell in love with Mrs. Powers on a cruise. The young man moved to Canada, but things went wrong. He took his separation badly, and stabbed to death his three victims, in their residence in the Aylmer sector. Judge Downs took the case under advisement on Tuesday.