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SOC219H5 (123)
Lecture 5

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Nicole Myers

Lecture 5 Sentencing and Imprisonment Structure of Sentencing -didn’t have codified sentences; no explicit instructions, we have maximums but rarely used -very few mandatory minimums = discretion; additions over past year -how judges come about sentences = common law -variation b/c no consistent instructions -judge made culture; one of restraint, limiting imposing sentences = chose shorter, evoking the law -stability in incarceration rate (vs. the US) = suggests that historically (in Canada) skeptical of imprisonment -now a political hot topic (past decide) = party wants to look soft on crime -public’s general consensus, sentences aren’t harsh enough, too lenient, influences changes in sentencing -reports arguing, we must restrict when to use law and how to impose it = do not want to rely on imprisonment(doesn’t work) -what alternatives can we use in place of the law? (consider before imposing law) -preference for least restrictive punishment; reserve maximum for more severe offences Difficulty -# of days, parole, # of hours for community service = how do we determine the one right #? -there is none; look at a range -each judge can impose differently, so how can there be a one right #? -focus on how severe, lenient, punitive? Public view? What are we trying to achieve and are we capable of it? -simply punishing, or rehabilitating? Forewarning society? -criminal code: section 718 is for sentencing -e and f are the most recent additions = explicitly deal with victims + community -what guidance is give to judges? Is there a consensus on just sanctions? Judges are left to their own discretion for which ones to choose -what should be considered? -cost for incarceration and parole vs rehab/alternatives -are punishments affordable? If state/country has no more money, where does the money come from? -picture = demonstration for remorse; instructed by counsel -remorse has potential to reduce sentence imposed -does remorse matter? How should it be measured? -what about those who maintain their innocence? Proportionality (718.1) -severity? Responsibility? (role in offence, age) -intent? Result of offence? Do we measure harm caused or harm that could potentially be caused? -constraining mechanism Aggravating + mitigating factors (718.2) -circumstances that aggravate offence (street gang, mafia, terrorist related) -there are more than these: taking advantage of vulnerable people ( children, patients), reoffending (esp. same offence), plans, breach of trust, weapon use, who the victim is crown imp. They are: police, children) -what factors make offence less serious? (reduce responsibility), menta
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