A former member of the Parole Board of Canada says the board has a lot to consider when it makes its decisions, but he’s surprised that the suspect in Sunday’s deadly stabbing rampage in Saskatchewan was given parole.
Bob Marshall, also a former Winnipeg police homicide detective, told 680 CJOB’s The News that given what he’s heard and read about the past of Myles Sanderson, who is currently the subject of a police manhunt across the prairies, it’s a shock to learn he was released at all.
“Certainly on the surface, there’s lots of questions why,” Marshall said.
“Here’s an individual who has a lengthy history of violence — there’s domestic violence, there’s assaulting police, there’s assaulting strangers, there’s drug use, there’s non-compliance, there’s non-compliance in the prison environment.”
The parole board decided in February that Sanderson would “not present an undue risk,” upon his release.
Marshall said that the parole board is made up of a cross-section of Canadian society, with members from all walks of life, but that the work involved can be intimidating for some.
“To start with, you get a package of material for an offender, it could be anywhere from 300 pages to a thousand pages plus, and you have to sort of absorb that and digest that,” he said.
“(The board looks) at his social and criminal history, his current offence, the nature and the gravity of offences, his history of compliance in the past, … whether there’s substance or mental health issues involved.”
Marshall said there’s generally an assessment as to whether an offender is considered a high, medium or low risk.
Canada’s Federal Public Safety Minister announced Tuesday that there will be an investigation into the decision to grant Sanderson freedom.
“I’m extremely concerned with what occurred here,” Marco Mendicino said at a news conference in B.C.
“Community is left reeling as a result of a massive number of tragedies and killings, and that’s fundamentally wrong.
“There will be an appropriate time and a place to review policy and resourcing and we need to embrace that review — we need to be transparent with Canadians to make sure that this kind of thing never happens again, but right now our top priority has to be to support the families.”
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