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Criminologist: Garland judge likely leafing through law books

(Lucas Meyer - 660 NEWS)

One of Calgary’s leading criminologists says the judge in the Douglas Garland trial has a tough decision ahead of him in terms of parole eligibility.

Mount Royal University’s Doug King says it’s going to take some time before those in the courtroom are able to heal.

King says Calgary has had two to three years of some harsh offences and now it’s dealing with the loss of two grandparents and a young child all over again.

He adds the judge will take a lot into consideration as he decides if it could be upwards of 75 years before Garland is eligible for parole.

“I bet you that he is pouring over law books and pouring over precedent as we speak,” said King.

A first-degree murder conviction carries life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years and since there are three convictions, Judge David Gates will decide whether the ineligibilities will be served consecutively or concurrently.

“People who are convicted of first degree murder in Canada with parole eligibility in 25 years actually end up spending more time in prison than someone who is convicted of first degree murder in the United States.” said King

If it’s 75 years, it’ll tie for the second longest sentence in Canadian criminal history with Justin Bourque, who shot and killed three Mounties in Moncton, New Brunswick in 2014.