Hitman describes ‘appalling’ life in prison

Hitman describes ‘appalling’ life in prison

A killer who has spent the last 19 years in prison has spoken of the extreme and “appalling” violence he has faced and asked the jury to give him “one last chance”.

• Also read: Hitman Wants “Last Chance”

“It smells of violence, there’s a crazy atmosphere, it’s dangerous. I’ve seen people stabbed, had their throats cut, I’ve spent years in my cell, I still wonder how I’m still there,” Jean-Guy Lambert testified at the Montreal courthouse this Wednesday .

Head down, occasionally wiping tears, the 76-year-old killer testified in order to benefit from the “last chance clause.” This clause allowed a person sentenced to life imprisonment to apply for parole sooner than expected.

Lambert has been serving a life sentence since 2003 for executing a contract with brothers Robert and Elias Fattouch in exchange for $25,000 six years earlier.

” [Le commanditaire] wanted to get rid of the two brothers because one of them had an affair with his wife while he was incarcerated in the United States, according to a complaint to the court. In addition, one would have used the Fattouch […] its European contacts in the field of stolen vehicles. »

forgiveness

The contract was fulfilled and although Lambert was not the shooter, he was convicted of first degree murder and attempted murder as one of the two survived.

“I’m not always proud of it,” Lambert testified. I want to apologize to everyone I’ve hurt. I haven’t had a good life forever, but I’m not the same man anymore. »

Through tears, he explained that with age and his health problems, he doesn’t have “much time to live”. In recent years he has had four strokes, in addition to his diagnosis of cancer, then COVID which led to him being hospitalized for a month.

“I think I paid for what I’m doing,” he said. And I’m still paying with my health. »

However, Lambert admitted that he wasn’t always an altar boy. Criminalized since he was young, he specialized in car theft and then worked in a garage where he “invented” stolen vehicles. It was in this context that he met the Fattouch brothers.

Except that once he was in prison for murder, he understood the value of freedom.

“I was wondering how I got there,” he explained. Inside it’s not the same, it’s terrible. What we see when we say it, people don’t believe us. I could. »

air of freedom

Over the years, he has run several programs to better understand his crime and give himself the tools to stand tall. And over time, his security clearance has deteriorated to the point that he now lives in a minimum-security prison.

But before he dies, he would like to live a little longer in the open air. And since he can’t apply for parole before 2028, he’s hoping to bring that date forward.

“I just want to breathe fresh air, spend time with my kids,” he said. I could have thought of that beforehand [de commettre un meurtre], but that’s all I ask. I’ve been through enough, I want to keep going, the right way. »

The hearings, chaired by Judge France Charbonneau, are scheduled to last two weeks. Note that even if Lambert is given a “last chance,” that doesn’t mean he’ll be automatically released, as that’s the responsibility of the Parole Board of Canada.

And in any case, he will remain under the yoke of the prison services until his death.