We also should keep in mind that different theories are applied by different judges,
they have different purposes to accomplish, they posses different information that
becomes available, this obviously leads to different outcomes and results in different
sentences which could all be equally justifiable by the judge
As a hypothetical example: a young adult who is in a very critical situation
economically and has absolutely no money to take care of his needs end up stealing
a credit card and spend quite some money on buying himself lots of food to conserve.
One judge may focus of the gravity of the offence which included stealing a credit
card and spending a generous amount of money from, while another judge may focus
on more on the circumstances under which the offence was committed.
4. Some observers have suggested that certain parts of s. 718 of the Criminal Code
encourage judges to base sentencing decisions on their beliefs about the impact of
sentences rather than on evidence about what sentences are likely to accomplish. A
similar argument has been made that Courts of Appeal, in endorsing all of the purposes
in these sub-sections, has implicitly made promises that empirical evidence would
suggest cannot be fulfilled. Explain why this might or might not be a fair criticism.
This is not a fair criticism. We have to no underestimate the capabilities of judges,
after all they have been in the business for quite some time, and their judgements
are fair. The section offer guidelines that seem to represent well what is suppose to
be aimed at in sentencing. I think it should be worded differently; they are no
encouraged but allowed to use their belief when deciding sentencing.
This argument may be fair in the way that it creates disparity among the sentences
handed down by judges and similar offences may not be sentenced the same way.
However we have to keep in mind that not all crimes are identical, and offender
themselves are very different. A sense of uniformity in sentencing would not be
much better, if not worst. This is why we should tolerate some disparity among
sentencing, and judge are entitled to use their thinking and judgement to decide a
proper sentence. But we should also mention that it is required from a judge to look
at previous sentences handed down for similar offences.
5. What are the problems in comparing the severity of sentences in individual cases (or
comparing patterns of sentences for individual types of offences) across jurisdictions
(e.g., across provinces, or between Canada or parts of Canada, on the one hand, and the
U.S. or parts of the U.S. on the other)?
On many levels the comparison cannot be made since society in Canada and in the
U.S is very different, and therefore what may work in one country would not
necessarily work on the other. Also the circumstance of the countries cannot permit a
fair comparison. First of all the criminal justice system may have different purposes
and principals which
Comparing severity of sentences within Canada can be problematic
Comparing with the US can be problematic because the sentencing system differs in
its structure, in regard s to commission and parole, and on the principles involved.