LAWS 1000 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Victim Surcharge, Crown Attorney, Donald Marshall, Jr.

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10 Aug 2016
Department
Course
Professor
Law
Jan 17
Donald Marshall Jr
-they asked NSRC to look at the issue of wrongful conviction in this case
-gained most traction for study of overrepresentation
Overrepresentation
-overrepresentation= look at population of country and then look at that same population that are
incarcerated.
-why is it some people detained, pulled over, questioned more often?
-aboriginal make up about 5% of pop but 25% of prison pop is aboriginal
What is the explanation?
-cultural reason: different culture=different norms and laws
-however this argument isn’t good since it is not usually the immigrants who end up in jail but there
kids, who are raised in Canadian society.
-differential enforcement: if crime is proportionate across all areas, then we should be able to find crime
exactly where we look for it. Everyone commits same amount of crime. This theory says that of course
police find more crimes with minorities because they police that group a lot more effort. They turn a
blind eye to “white” neighbourhoods.
Discrimination taking place
-explanation for racism in legal system: very subtle, takes place across the system.
-first step is to be recognized as being a part of a racial group. Then people fir you into their prejudices
and pre conceived thought of people from that group
-can affect likelihood of being charged and arrested
-can affect ability to get bail
-race, sex, age, socio-economic background all play in part
Solutions
-problem is either racist system or racist actors?
-two approaches, either forcing officers to only charge and arrest certain percentage from each group or
train them to notice their racism
Other solutions
-judicial inquiries: fact finding. Don’t accomplish much, they only find out what we know
-cross cultural training:
-indigenisation of system: to get system to better reflect society, involve them in legal system.
-alternative structures/processes: changing entire system. Dealing with different offenders could use a
different system instead.
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