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Canada (161,660)
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SOC 3490 (14)

law and society- cultural differences and criminal sentencing

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SOC 3490
Scott Brandon

Law and SocietyCultural Differences and Criminal Sentencing There are many controversies involving the relationship between cultural differences and criminal responsibility In Canada the debate is centred on the use of criminal law to mediate the historic oppression of aboriginals In the United States the debate focuses on cultural defence and African AmericansEquality Before the Lawo Equality before the law is not sufficient because sometimes treating people the same results in inequalityy Critical legal scholars have argued that racial sexual and gender differences should be recognized in the lawy Some court decisions have interpreted laws differently when trying aboriginals or African Americans in order to reduce their overrepresentation in Canadian prisonsy Problem this treatment may stigmatize Racialized individuals by suggesting mental weakness and suggest that some defenders are less responsible for their actions and state of being based on race The Issue of Difference Based on Race and Culture o Critiques of the liberal legal systems have stressed that equal treatment of all contributes to inequalities of race class gender and sexualityo OVL The official version of law rests on the idea of formal equality or blind justice which actually reproduces inequalities because it fails to account for the different experiences of different kinds of people who have been subject to different forms of oppressiono Some say we need to pay attention to our differences rather than ignore them Section 7182E of the Canadian Criminal Code General purposes and principles of sentencinga Denounce unlawful conduct b Deterrencec Separate offenders from society where necessaryd Assist in rehabilitating offenderse Provide reparations for harmf Promote a sense of responsibility in offendersIt is within this section that the Canadian criminal code was amended to account for the different experiences of historically marginalized persons and to recognize their social circumstances as mitigating the seriousness of the crime committed
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