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SOC346H5 (14)
Chapter 10

Chapter 10.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC346H5
Professor
Nicole Myers
Semester
Summer

Description
Chapter 10: Murder and Manslaughter MURDER  15 sections of the CC in 1892, dealt with process of declaring, implementing, and completing sentence of death  Last hangings in Canada were executions of Turpin and Lucan at Don Jail in Toronto in 1962 o Murder divided into 2 categories by this point: capital and non-capital  **Between 1962-1976, death penalty was abolished and all sentences of death considered on individual basis by federal Cabinet and all were commuted to life imprisonment  1976 reforms prescribed life imprisonment as mandatory penalty for murder divided into first and second degree murder o Practical difference between the two is the period of parole ineligibility that applies to life sentence o First-degree: not eligible for parole until 25 years of sentence have been served in confinement, subject to possibility of review after 15 years o Second-degree: parole ineligibility period anywhere between 10-25 years as determined by trial judge  Murder requires high level of subjective fault made up of either intention to kill or intention to cause bodily harm that offender knows is likely to cause death and is reckless as to whether death ensures or not  First degree murder now consists of planned and deliberate killings, killing of police officer, prison guard or related official, or killing in course of certain stipulated offences o All other murders are second-degree First Degree Murder  1975-76 debates- government committed to abolition of death penalty backed by the Governor General at the time; also about offering alternative sanction which would satisfy those who were not committed to retention (custody) but were concerned about apparent leniency for murderers (pg. 293)  Issue was minimum custodial period before someone could apply for parole  Research suggested minimum time of 10-15 years o Canada’s experience was evidence that those convicted of non-capital murder and capital murder commuted to life imprisonment had served, on average, approximately 7 years and 12 years, respectively o Comparisons to other countries that had abolished death penalty showed that most jurisdictions chose minimum custodial period between 10-15 years  Public and police against abolishing death penalty and suggested acceptable alternative would only be a minimum of 25 years in custody  Government’s decision: 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 panel of 3 superior judges to have period of parole ineligibility reduced  With introduction of Charter in 1982, death penalty would be scrutinized for constitutionality Second Degree Murder  Jury asked to make recommendation about period of parole ineligibility (unless convicted person has committed murder before)  Trial judge sets period at point between 10-25 years after hearing suggestions  Section 754.4 indicates considerations trial judge has to take in account are “character of offender, nature of offence and circumstances surroundings its commission” along with jury recommendations (pg.296)  Murder in commission of certain offences, multiple victims, vulnerably victims, multiple perpetrators and other factors should enhance gravity of offence R.v. Latimer, The Minimum Penalty and Constitutional Exemptions  Sentencing Commission examined MMS and concluded they should be removed because they came in conflict with principles of proportionality, equity and restraint in 1987  Latimer charged with first-degree murder for his daughter who was severely physically disabled and found dead with asphyxiation o Killed her to take away her pain o Charges reduced to second-degree at his next trial  **Does the mandatory penalty deprive a court in an unconstitutional way of the ability to impose a sentence proportionate with blameworthiness?  With second-degree murder, issue is whether a killing represents degree of moral culpability which, by reason of motive, is less than normative quality usually associated with murder Fifteen-year Parole Eligibility Review  Comprise to setting minimum custodial period for first-degree murder at 35 years was the fifteen-year review  Object of review to have jury consider whether long peri
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