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SOC209H5 Lecture Notes - Restorative Justice, Domestic Violence, Dangerous Offender

Course Code
Philip Goodman

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March 14, 2013
Issues in Sentencing and Punishment
Sentencing and Justifications of Punishment in Canada
- Section 718 sets out purposes of sentencing:
Denouncing conduct
o When ppl commit crimes they violate social laws and
violate norms harm to the community
o Symbolic harm done to the social fabric
o Huge area of active research
o Making reparations - goal
o No “one size fits all”
o Important goal, we do not have people follow the law if
we don‟t punish the people that do go against the law
o Purpose of sentencing
o Crime are dangerous risky people so they need to be
put into the jails, so they cannot crime in the future
o Improve the person
o Or fix the situation
o What is it that is causing the crime? So we know then
develop intervention
Making reparations
o Harm is done so needs to be repaired
o Criminal justice system is formalistic, so it is
questionable that if repairs are harm
Responsibility, accountability
o To the crime
Similarity and consistency
o Hard to imagin in practice
o Ppl that have done similar things should be punished in
similar way
Consecutive sentences ought not be unduly harsh
o Person with home, 2 crimes (theft and abuse of the
Least restrictive sanction
o 718.2(e) especially for Aboriginal offenders
o punishment from least to most restrictive ..
o Judges choose restrictive sanction
o For aboriginal offenders

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Some Critiques
- Kitchen sink approach
throwing everything in, it matters to the criminal justice, by
throwing everything in to the criminal justice system and if it
looks good they keep it by putting all the Deterrence and
denouncing conduct.
- Ignores that these are competing principles, objectives
- Tension between treating like cases similarly, and the Canadian
values of judicial discretion, individualized justice
Role in the creation of disparities. (Re)production of inequality
- What happens when we pretend we can have it all?
We pretend that we have everything even thought we don‟t
Multiple competitng principles, so we have a system that does
Aggravating Factors
- Sentencing should be enhances in cases of:
Crimes motivated by hate
Spousal abuse and child abuse
Abusing a position of trust or authority
Crime committed in connection with a criminal organization
- Why these? Why not others? How do these come to be privileged?
It puts people in a vulnerable state
We punish people we don‟t like more harshly (1-3)
The 4 is not as connected it is an aggravating factor why?
o It might prove intended rather than an accident
The intended was already build into the system
Ex: street organizations gangs
Already punishing people that commit abuse that
do crimes,
o Embedded into the organizations bribery and fraud, in
o Issues in the way which is the invisibility of the activity
optics something that the public is worried about,
these are the groups we are afraid of because they are
nasty and hated (organizations) they steal money
o Deterrent value
o Idea that we have to think historically in why these
things have happened, historical roots, ex: homophobic
hate rime against gays
o General point:
Penalized things: we look outside, historical and
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