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Murdered Mounties deserve swift, iron-fisted justice, writes Bill Westcott

The awful news of the senseless killing of three and the wounding of two young RCMP officers in Moncton, N.B., has once again brought home the dangerous work our law enforcement officers face in order to protect us seven days-a-week.

Following the gut-wrenching ceremonies (I watched on TV) on Tuesday, June 17, I chatted online with a retired police officer who now lives in Saskatchewan. He is a Newfoundlander. A man I had the good fortune to meet a couple of years ago while on vacation. I was expressing our sympathy to him as I know he is still (always) a life-long member of the police brotherhood.

Through our chats I subsequently learned that 24-year-old Justin Bourque, who allegedly gunned down these police officers, will face the Judge on July 3.

I was just about knocked off my seat when he told me that when convicted and sentenced, Bourque will get 25 years. Yes, 25 years. My retired RCMP friend also told me that even if Bourque gets 25 years on each count, he will still only serve a total of 25 years in prison.

He then said that if Bourque survives in prison he could be out at around 50 years-of-age.

"He will still have 30 or 40 years of his life ahead of him," he commented.

Young police officers slaughtered in the street in their line of duty. Families with children, co-workers and a town heartbroken forever. A police force trying to pick up the pieces and carry on protecting its citizens.

All of the above consequences and Bourque will get 25 years behind bars no more no less. Do you call that justice? I call it justice denied.

In the United States, if you kill a police officer, you automatically get the death sentence. I never thought I would ever say this but … I think the Americans got it right.

— Bill Westcott writes from Clarke's Beach

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