A Regina lawyer is considering options after the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal dismissed an application to overturn the dangerous offender designation of Andy Peekeekoot.
Bob Hrycan says he is dismayed by the decision and may ask the Supreme Court of Canada to hear the case.
During the appeal court hearing, Hrycan put forth a number of arguments including that his client was making progress in jail but needs more time.
“He hadn’t yet been given the opportunity he needed to take full advantage of the appropriate programs, and that once having done so, he could prove himself, but obviously the Court of Appeal was not inclined to agree with that position,” he says.
Peekeekoot comes from a dysfunctional home, was physically and sexually abused, grew up in foster care and ended up in trouble with the law by age 10.
He has 20 previous convictions including assaulting corrections workers.
Hrycan says Peekeekoot’s upbringing was also not properly taken into consideration by the sentencing judge.
This view is also shared by the Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism which has been following the case closely.
SCAR spokesperson Bob Hughes says if ever a court decision deserved to be overturned, it is this one.
“It takes the breath out of me,” he says. “I have absolutely from the start known this is a case that begs to be overturned and it is absolutely shocking to me.”
Peekeekoot was declared a dangerous offender in 2010 after being sentenced as the result of a bar fight where he pulled a knife.
He is currently serving his sentence at a medium security jail in Grande Cache Alberta.
The Court of Appeal ruled there were no significant errors in how the sentencing judge came to his decision in the case and unanimously upheld the ruling.
The court also took exception to the notion that a dangerous offender designation is the equivalent of a life sentence saying there is still the opportunity for release through a parole hearing.
Hrycan says the chances of that happening are slim at best.