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NCJ Number: 69409 Find in a Library
Title: SENTENCING LAWS - A PRACTITIONER'S VIEW (FROM NEW DIRECTIONS IN SENTENCING, P 273-292, 1980, BY BRIAN A GROSMAN - SEE NCJ-71049)
Author(s): M MANNING
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Butterworth
Scarborough, Ontario M1P 451, Canada
Sale Source: Butterworth
2265 Midland Avenue
Scarborough, Ontario M1P 451,
Canada
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: THE WIDE DISCRETION GIVEN TO CANADIAN JUDGES IN SENTENCING OFFENDERS UNDER CASE LAW IS DESCRIBED; AND THE STATUTORY EXPRESSION OF SENTENCING GOALS, AS WELL AS STATUTORY GUIDANCE ON SENTENCE IMPOSITION, ARE URGED.
Abstract: PROVINCIAL AND FEDERAL POWERS CONCERNING THE CRIMINAL LAW ARE INTRICATELY WOVEN, AS IS THE MIX OF LAW MADE BY JUDGES AND BY ELECTED LEGISLATORS. ALTHOUGH THE CODIFICATION OF CANADIAN CRIMINAL LAW IN 1892 AND ITS SUBSEQUENT REVISIONS WERE IMPORTANT STEPS IN DELIMITING JUDGES' SENTENCING POWER, THE CODE'S LACK OF SPECIFICITY ON THE GOALS AND IMPOSITION OF SENTENCING HAS EFFECTIVELY RESULTED IN THE DELEGATION OF PARLIAMENT'S CONSTITUTIONAL POWER OVER THE CRIMINAL LAW TO JUDGES. A LIST OF VARIOUS SENTENCING IMPOSITIONS AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH EACH ORDER MAY BE MADE REVEALS MANY INCONSISTENCIES IN SENTENCING POLICIES AS THEY HAVE EVOLVED UNDER CASE LAW. IN ADDITION TO HEAVY RELIANCE ON THE SOCIAL WORKER'S PRESENTENCE REPORT, THE JUDGE OFTEN DETERMINES A SENTENCE BY RELYING ON DECISIONS IN CASE LAW THAT ACCORD WITH HIS OWN VIEWS. THE LACK OF UNIFORMITY IN SENTENCING IS ILLUSTRATED BY COMPARING DISPARITIES IN THE FOLLOWING TYPES OF CASES: (1) A CASE OF CAR FINANCING FRAUD VERSUS SIMPLER CRIMES AGAINST RIGHTS OF PROPERTY, (2) MORE STRINGENT PENALTIES IMPOSED IN CASES OF SEXUAL ASSAULT WHEN THE OBJECT OF ASSAULT IS A PERSON OF THE SAME SEX, AND (3) CHANGING RATIONALES OF PUNISHMENT BETWEEN FIRST OFFENDERS CONVICTED OF MARIHUANA POSSESSION AND SUBSEQUENT CONVICTIONS FOR THE SAME OFFENSE. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR REFORM OF SENTENCING LAWS INCLUDE PRESCRIBING GREATER USE OF THE SUSPENDED SENTENCE, PROVIDING FOR IMPOSITION OF MANDATORY SENTENCES WHERE REHABILITATION OR A SUSPENDED SENTENCE ARE NOT REALISTIC ALTERNATIVES, A NARROWER RESTRUCTURING OF PENALITIES UNDER THE CRIMINAL LAW, AND A STATUTORY STATEMENT OF THE GOALS OF SENTENCING. A TOTAL OF 36 NOTES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Canada; Criminal codes; Judicial decisions; Judicial discretion; Sentencing disparity; Sentencing guidelines; Sentencing reform; Sentencing/Sanctions
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=69409

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