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Justice isn’t served when double standards taint the system

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The parents of Alexandre Bissonnette made an impassioned plea on behalf of their son last week: 40 years in prison without the chance of parole is too harsh a sentence, they argued, despite the horrific murders he committed.

His parents expressed their wish they’d done more to support their struggling son who had been severely bullied. “Alexandre suffered psychological and physical bullying during his school years, which had devastating effects on his personality,” they wrote.

It’s hard to imagine what it must feel like to have a child grow up to become a deeply troubled adult who would brutally kill other people, destroying families, shattering an entire community and sending shock waves throughout the country.

Yet, there is another set of Canadian parents whose lives have similarly been upended but who have received far less attention. Their son, like Bissonnette, suffered mentally and was also recently sentenced to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges brought against him.

That’s where the similarities end.

Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, 20, did not actually kill anyone, but was........

© Toronto Star