Quebec City
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A man who shot dead six worshippers at a Quebec mosque in 2017 on Thursday had his sentence reduced to 25 years in prison when a Canadian court ruled it was unconstitutional for him to serve consecutive life sentences, AFP reports.

Alexandre Bissonnette, who turns 31 next week, was sentenced in 2019 to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 40 years.

However, in a unanimous decision on Thursday, the Quebec Court of Appeal said a provision of the Criminal Code introduced in 2011 that allows judges to impose consecutive life sentences for multiple murders violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The three-judge panel said it "makes it possible to impose a penalty which will at all times be cruel and unusual, and grossly disproportionate."

The prosecution had asked for a 150-year sentence, which would have been the longest ever in Canada, while the defense petitioned for 25 years.

The trial judge handed Bissonnette 40 years, estimating that "subjecting a murderer to a sentence greater than his life expectancy" risked "sowing doubt as to the credibility of the judicial system."

On January 29, 2017, Bissonnette entered the Quebec City mosque and opened fire on 40 men and four children who were chatting after evening prayers, killing six men and seriously injuring five others.

Bissonnette was described after his arrest as a white supremacist opposed to Muslim immigration but not affiliated with any group.