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SOC346H5 (50)


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University of Toronto Mississauga
Nicole Myers

Ch. 10 Readings Murder & Manslaughter  A person convicted of first-degree murder is not eligible for parole until 25 years of the sentence have been served in confinement, subject to the possibility of a review after 15 years nd  For 2 degree murder, the parole ineligibility period can be anywhere between 10 and 25 years as determined by the trial judge  The sentence for first-degree murder would be life imprisonment with no parole for 25 years but the prisoner could, after serving 15 years, apply to a panel of 3 superior court judges to have the period of parole ineligibility reduced. Second degree Murder and Parole Ineligibility  Section 745.4 indicates that the considerations which the trial judge must take into account are the “character of the offender, he nature of the offence and the circumstances surrounding its commission,” and the jury’s recommendation, if any  As a general rule, the period of parole ineligibility shall be for 10 years, but this can be ousted by a determination of the trial judge that, according to the criteria enumerated in s.744 (now s.745.5) the offender should wait a longer period before having his suitability to be released into general public assessed. To this end, an extension of the period of parole ineligibility would not be “unusual”, although it may well be that, in the median number of cases, a period of ten years might be still awarded.  Viewing the absence of an explanation as an aggravating factor is troubling since it puts a burden on the accused which contradicts the central principle articulated by the supreme court  Crown is responsible for proving aggravation  In the case of second degree murder, the issue is whether a killing represents a degree of moral culpability which, by reason of motive, is less than the normative quality ordinarily associated with murder.  If satisfied that a killing was generated by compassion, surely the penalty should, by way of constitutional exemption, be commensurate with that conclusion. Then the sentence can be determined by blameworthiness as indicated by the facts of the case.  The threshold needs to be high, and the use of the exemption will be rare, but it is an essential tool to ensure both respect for the criminal law and a guarantee of equity in its
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