Alek Minassian, 28, responsible for the deadly van attack in 2018, has been found guilty of 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder. Justice Anne Molloy ruled that Minassian’s rampage was “the act of a reasoning mind,” adding that he did not express any remorse for his actions nor sympathy for the victims and affected families.
Minassian’s defence lawyer Boris Bytensky said that his client’s autism disorder precluded him from developing empathy. The judge rejected this argument.
“He considered the impact it would have on his family, and deliberately set those thoughts aside, ignoring them, because he did not want them to deter him from achieving this important goal,” she said. “He was capable of understanding the impact it would have on his victims.
The van attacked has sparked discourse on so-called “incels” and the culture of misogyny that leads to gender-based violence. Online platforms have been a breeding ground for such ideas and groups — should there be stricter regulation of these “incel” threads where violent and hateful content is posted?