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Lecture 8

CRM 1300 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Small Cell, Community Sentence, Auburn System

Course Code
CRM 1300
Sam Alvaro

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Prosecution & Corrections
Prosecution & Corrections
What do the Courts do?
1. Responsible for determining the guilt or innocence of the accused and with imposing an
appropriate sentence upon the criminal;
2. Protection of rights of the individual and society;
o Balance minority rights over majority rights.
3. Monitoring of other criminal justice agencies.
o Check to see if police or corrections are overstepping their boundaries.
Court System
Proof prior to trial
o Before you go to trial, there must be some sort of probable cause.
Proof to convict
o Proof must be beyond a reasonable doubt.
o Defendant, crown prosecutor, defence counsel, judge, jury, victim, and witness;
o Not always a jury, victim, and/or witnesses;
o Can defend yourself unless the judge orders otherwise;
o Jury trials are ordered for more severe crimes (e.g. murder).
o Governed by law, tradition, and judicial authority.
The Plea
1. Guilty
o 90% of defendants plead guilty;
o Lawyers are not cheap; therefore, some people choose a few months/years of jail rather
than paying 10,000$ plus;
o Plea bargains are not necessarily accepted; judge may decide whether or not the plea is
acceptable for the situation;
o Judge may also decide if the case should go to trial;
o Guilty plea must be free and voluntary;
o May be sentenced or remanded
2. Not guilty
o Trial date is set;
o Type of court depends on the seriousness of the offence;
o Some offences may be tried immediately before a provincially appointed judge.
Jury Trial
Limited to offences with maximum sentence of 5 years or more;
Usually at the request of the defendant but may be ordered by the judge.
o May appeal verdict or sentence or criminal responsibility.
o Prosecution may also appeal.
Appeal Court
o May order new trial or overturn conviction;
o Ordering a new trial - problem in the case;
o Overturn conviction - the court was wrong;
o May also overturn an acquittal and convict.

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Prosecution & Corrections
Supreme Court
o Hears only cases involving important points of law;
o Can decide not to hear your case;
o May decide to hear your case in the future;
o Will only hear charter challenges;
For example: freedom of speech, expression, mobility, etc.
Gay marriage
Summary Conviction Appeals
o Are usually heard in Superior Courts
o When summarily convicted, you can appeal it to a superior court.
What are the Sentencing Options?
Suspended Sentence
Recent Restorative Justice options
o Mediation
For example: shoplifting at the corner store; instead of going to court, there may
be a police officer conference and do community service work at the store.
o Community sentence
Viewed as being lenient
Effective Corrections Means:
Distinguishing between offenders who need to be separated from society and those who can be
safety and better managed in the community;
Preparing offenders for release into the community and assisting them in their reintegration into
Providing the programs and support that offenders need to get their life back on track - whether
within the penitentiary or under supervision in the community.
Canadian Correctional Facts
35 million people live in Canada;
2.6 million men and almost 700,000 women have criminal records;
During 2013: 33,340 imprisoned adults;
During 2013: 342,349 convictions;
o 33% of these convictions were custodial and only 5% of custodial convictions were
federally sentenced.
2013: the incarceration rate in Canada was 131 per 100,000;
o Highest incarceration rates were found in the Northwest Territories (726), Nunavut (553),
Yukon (355), and Manitoba (248).
o Lowest incarceration rates were found in [federal system]: Nova Scotia (63), British
Columbia (66), Newfoundland and Labrador (66) and New Brunswick (70).
Canada's incarceration rate is higher than most Western European countries but lower than the
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