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Law to bar Homolka from seeking pardon

The Canadian House of Commons passed a bill Thursday in its last day before summer recess to reform criminal pardons, which will block Karla Homolka from seeking a pardon for her crimes next month, according to the Canadian Press.

The legislation, which still needs to be passed by the Senate, provides that the period of time to seek a pardon be increased from five years to 10 years after being released from prison for anyone convicted of a crime involving serious personal injury.

Under the current law, Homolka, 40, who was released from prison in July 2005, would have been eligible to apply for a pardon July 5.

The Canadian law allows for a pardon, which seals the prior criminal record of an individual, provided that the person has served his or her entire sentence and has lived a life free of crime for a designated period of time.

Homolka was released from prison after serving 12 years for manslaughter in the horrific early 1990s sex slayings of Kristen French, 15, of St. Catharines, and Leslie Mahaffy, 14, of Burlington.

Her former husband, Paul Bernardo, 45, against whom she testified at trial, is serving a life sentence for the murders.

A separate bill to alter the pardon system by barring the applications of violent criminals is due for debate in the fall.

e-mail: citydesk@buffnews.com