Toronto Star

McArthur sentencing shows bias against queer communitie­s

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Although it is deeply depressing, it is also encouragin­g to see exposed the profound mishandlin­g by the Toronto police of the Bruce McArthur serial killings, and the subsequent apology.

Kudos to the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention for leading the charge! Most of McArthur’s victims were forced to hide their sexuality; prejudice against queer communitie­s has not miraculous­ly disappeare­d with the advance of our civil rights. It will take generation­s for this to recede.

This bias is still present in our justice system; one need look no further than McArthur’s sentencing.

After pleading guilty to killing eight men, he was given concurrent life sentences, which will see him eligible for parole at age 91, the justificat­ion being that any further life sentences or parole extensions would “only” have been symbolic.

Symbols matter.

Had he killed, for example, eight police officers, I’m certain he would have received multiple life sentences.

Justice McMahon said, at the time of sentencing, that even if McArthur sought parole at 91, the chances of his receiving it would be “very remote at best.”

For me, that’s not good enough. He should be in jail for the rest of his natural life.

 ?? RICHARD LAUTENS TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO ?? It is both depressing and encouragin­g to see exposed the profound mishandlin­g by the Toronto police of the Bruce McArthur serial killings, a reader writes.
RICHARD LAUTENS TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO It is both depressing and encouragin­g to see exposed the profound mishandlin­g by the Toronto police of the Bruce McArthur serial killings, a reader writes.

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