An opinion on reform changes with respect to the principles and purposes of sentencing

Conclusion and Recommendations

I have provided several recommendations for change based on research, experience and case law. I have indicated that denunciation and deterrence principles should remain. I have provided some of the typical cases I see on a day-to-day basis, recognizing that some change needs to be made to maintain public confidence in the administration of justice. I have offered some language changes to the separation principle which mainly supports judges looking at alternative means to incarceration. Under the rehabilitation model, I have expressed my issues with the mandatory minimums and question how we achieve true rehabilitation if the options are becoming so limited. I have suggested that there be some changes made to some of the wording within s. 718.2 (e) excluding the victim portion of that clause and including a clause to represent minorities. Lastly, I discussed the proportionality principle and the challenges in applying the principle from two different perspectives. First I have challenged the mandatory minimums with the application of proportionality by replacing it with different wording to make it more concise and easier to apply. I have suggested that Parliament not place too many limitations on options for sentencing. I have provided examples throughout using the slow elimination of the conditional sentences. Lastly, I have suggested throughout that Parliament has taken away a lot of discretion from judges and lawyers and has limited our ability to do our jobs effectively. I have examples of cases where judges have, without mandatory minimums, been able to meet the principles of sentencing by providing effective law that we use on a regular basis in our practice.

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