Photo: Jacques Nadeau Archives The Duty
Although he recognized that the outbreak of coronavirus in prison must be considered, the judge Cournoyer believes that it is ” rarely a determining factor, in and of itself when released.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 is not a sufficient reason for releasing a detainee from the prison of Bordeaux, who hoped to be able to get out of the prison pending his trial. The justice Guy Cournoyer of the superior Court has rejected the petition of Johnny Samuel Empty-Rauda Friday due to the criminal record of the accused.
Mr. Empty-Rauda was sent to the court to obtain a release, citing the pandemic and the court delays since his arrest in November 2018. He is accused of various criminal offenses including drug trafficking, assault, possession of weapons and breach of condition. It was argued to the court that the measures deployed to curb the contagion to the detention Facility of Montreal (Bordeaux) were late and insufficient, and have therefore increased the risk that he may contract the disease.
Although he recognized that the outbreak of coronavirus in prison must be considered, the judge Cournoyer believes that it is ” rarely a determining factor, in and of itself when released. “In fact, the current pandemic does not justify the release of an accused if the court is satisfied that it will not appear at his trial or that he will commit other offences or interfere with the administration of justice,” he wrote. The magistrate also notes that it is “correctional authorities and not the courts to” manage the risks “real” caused by the pandemic.
The judge Cournoyer pointed out that Mr Empty-Rauda has already served several prison sentences ranging from 27 months to 12 months, between 2010 and 2015, and that it had not complied with the terms of its latest release. He arrives at the conclusion that ” his detention is necessary to ensure the safety of the public “.
The number of inmates affected by the COVID-19 in the prison of Montreal (Bordeaux) has continued to increase in recent days. They were 35, according to the latest figures from public Health. On the 933 people in prison, 112 have been tested. Of the 17 detention facilities managed by the government of québec, it is the only one who is experiencing such an outbreak of infection with the coronavirus, and that account still active cases within the prison population.