Friday , December 4 2020

Prosecutors seek coherent life styles for Bruce McArthur

Richard Andrew Kikot speaks to the media while taking a break from the victim's statement during the punishment of serial killer Bruce McArthur in Toronto on February 5, 2019.

Nathan Denette / The Canadian Press

Prosecutors are asking a judge to put Bruce McArthur behind bars without chance of parole until he is 116 – two consecutive life frames for the eight first-degree murders he committed over nearly a decade.

"The assurance that Mr. McArthur will never leave prison is an appropriate outcome," said Deputy Crown Attorney Craig Harper to the officials on Tuesday. He argued that the crimes were particularly dreadful because he was pursuing the vulnerable. The term serial killer, Mr Harper said, was "profoundly inadequate" to describe Mr McArthur's moral blameworthiness. "He tore these men away from family and friends. He spread fears in a society that, regardless of its many forces, is struggling with a foolish sense of security."

Mr. McArthur rejected a chance to turn to the courtroom. "I have spoken to my advice and I will not say anything," he said when he was asked on Tuesday.

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His defense lawyer argued that all eight sentences should be served simultaneously.

"The practical reality is that Mr. McArthur's release on parole is very unlikely," said James Miglin, adding that his client is already 67 and entered a guilty plea that spared the victims of a brutal, month-long trial.

Tuesday was the second day for the hearings of the judgment for Mr. McArthur blamed last week for killing Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi, Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi, Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, Dean Lisowick, Selim Esen and Andrew Kinsman. He sacrificed his victims, photographed them with cigars and fur coats, and then knocked them down.

Friends and family of the eight murdered men took to the witness box to talk about the heavy toll, Mr. McArthur's crimes have taken. Mr. Faizi's widow, Kareema, described working 16 to 18 hours to support their two daughters. "They pretend to be strong in front of me," she said in a statement read by a prosecutor. When her daughters are alone, they bring pictures of their father to their room and cry.

Sir. Kanagaratnam's sister Kirushnaveny Yasotharan said she would not live in a world that had become "so terribly cruel".

Sir. Mahmudi's widow, Fareena Marzook, sobbed when her statement was read, describing "trauma and grief to lose my soulmate." She said she was afraid that one day McArthur would be released, recognizing her family from the hearings and killing them. (One of the Crown's arguments for coherent sentences was to avoid family members facing Mr McArthur on a parole hearing one day.)

Deciding that Mr McArthur's sentences will be served one after the other or at the same time is the task of Justit John McMahon. The least phrase for a census is a lifetime without any chance of parole before 25 years. Justice McMahon expects to make a statement on Friday. He confirmed that a previously suspended assault on McArthur – who attacked a sex worker with a lead tube in 2001 – would be considered.

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Mr. Harper brought Elizabeth Wettlaufer, a Ontario nurse who killed eight elderly patients. Mrs. Wettlaufer chose to confess his crimes, he told the court, while Mr McArthur continued to lie to the police to hide his crimes even after his arrest in January 2018.

"He was caught. He didn't stop."

Mr. Miglin claimed that his client's life expectancy is already well below the limit set by simultaneous sentences, which would allow him to apply for parole at 91. "These offenses are terrible," he said. "It requires the most serious penalties and penalties available in our law." He still argued that successive lifestyles would be "inappropriate", given his client's age and plea.

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