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No "weak hopes" for a convicted Edmonton striker

Late in the afternoon in Edmonton, a jury of ten women and two men wiped out the poor hope of a convicted murderer of early release.

For the entire week, the jury listened to witnesses telling them how much progress the sentenced attacker had made when he was behind the grid.

In 2002, Keith Schell was convicted of the first-degree murder of Adnan Pervez, 18th Schell agreed that Pervez was arming when his cocaine dealer offered him money, drugs, and a chance to take the drug.

In 2002, Schell was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of imprisonment for 25 years. But according to the now abandoned clause of hope for hope, he was allowed to call on the jury to allow him to ask for release a quarter of a century ago.

"He is currently in prison for almost 18 years and began collecting documents and preparing himself fifteen years ago to ask," said his lawyer Andrea Hart-Dowhun.

The jurors were told that Schell spent years behind bars and tried to erase his background with cocaine. He received a university degree, two university diplomas, and a university course. His probation officer and psychologist agreed that he had a real reproach for accepting another's life.

But in the end it was not enough.

After five hours of deliberation, the jury decided not to change Schell's 25-year illegality.

Criminal law recommends the only way to change it is the unanimous decision of the jury. Even one vote against, just keep the status quo.

After the jury left the courthouse, Associate Chief Justice John Rooke told Schell: "I know you do not like this result and I understand it, but you have to understand that it is the jury's duty to do what's best for society."

Associate Principal Court of Queen's Bench John Rooke. (Alberta Law Society)

Rooke remarked that although he said that Schell had "made great strides", it was not enough to gain the jury's confidence. Still, he tried to encourage Schell to lose hope for the future.

"I believe there has been significant progress since 2003," Rooke said. "One day you will see the sun to make your goals, the best of luck."

"It must be quite crushed for him"

Schell showed obvious disappointment in the prison box when the jury decided. The 53-year-old shook his head and sighed deeply.

After the judge left the courtroom, Schell told his attorney: "That's what it is. I hoped the company would find me fit, but it does not seem to me."

When asked to comment, CBC News said he feared the jury's decision would damage the daughter and grandchildren more than he.

He added: "I'm sorry for what I've done. It will not change."

The outdoor court, Hart-Dowhun, said, "It must be quite overwhelming for him."

Advocate Amanda Hart-Dowhun is convinced that her client is a "changed man". (Janice Johnston / CBC News)

Although the jury gave him the right to re-apply for a weak hope clause for five years, Hart-Dowhun said he was sure he would not use it.

"I can say with certainty it will not be repeated," said Hart-Dowhun. "Mainly because although his full eligibility to participate in the election is more than five years, at the time of five years he will be entitled to a daily limitation period.

Schell will be returned to British Columbia's minimum security prison where he will continue to serve the death penalty.

His lawyer is convinced that Schell is a changed man.

"The person I am today does not think it's a risk," said Hart-Dowhun.

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