Articles, Blog, ,

Sentencing Law Inquiry Video

Sentencing Law Inquiry Video


Hello. This video will be explaining sentencing
law in Canada as well as its history, its legislation, how it relates to the Canadian
Charter of Rights and Freedoms, sentencing law cases, and how each side in the political
spectrum view sentencing law. First and foremost, what is Sentencing Law? Sentencing Laws are
the laws created to determine the punishment of a person who commits a crime. The severity
and extent of the punishment can vary due to certain factors. These factors are called
aggravating and mitigating factors. Aggravating factors can increase the sentence and mitigating
factors can decrease the sentence. Previous criminal offences, previous jail time, level
of how much the victim was harmed or impacted, and to what extent the crime was planned are
all examples of aggravating factors. Some examples of mitigating factors are: low risk
of the offender committing another crime, if the crime was an accident, if it was the
first time the offender committed a crime, cooperation with authorities, and remorse.
Even though there are mitigating factors to reduce the severity of punishments, the law
can still be unjust in some cases. If the laws that protect the victim are too strong,
then the offender will get an unfair punishment. Likewise, if the laws that protect the offender
are too strong, then the offender will not get the punishment they deserve. Another way
the law can be unjust is when the judge holds biased views against either the victim or
offender. Judges are known to be honest, just, and trustworthy. However, they are still humans
and will have biases like everyone else. For example, if a judge had a family member who
was affected by a crime, or if they have strong beliefs against a certain crime, they will
sentence that crime harshly if they encounter it in court. It is also possible that a judge
may be racist or stereotypical towards a certain race or religion and sentence those people
unfairly. So we know that sentencing law may be unjust. But how can it be fixed? Well,
the obvious answer would be to allow only the best and most honest people to be involved
in the work of law. All lawmakers, politicians and judges should be the best of the best.
Only then will there be no corruption and a just system. However, to answer this question
completely, we need to look into the past. How was sentencing law created, and why is
it the way it is? Sentencing law was created from ancient legal systems when the society
wanted people punished for committing crimes. A just system was needed to determine the
punishment of an offender. This started with codified laws such as the Code of Hammurabi.
Some legal systems also had courts to deal with issues that the codified laws did not
mention. Ancient Greece was one of the first places to adopt the court system. Each legal
system was lenient on some laws and was strict on others. Some people of the time viewed
certain sentencing laws as unfair while others supported them. It came down to the beliefs
and morals of the people and that was what created the law over time. Newer generations
had slightly different morals and beliefs than older generations. So they didn’t agree
with old laws. Over time, old laws were omitted and new ones were created. This caused the
law to be ever-changing and created the law we have today. Certain situations would also
cause the law to be changed. Let me give an example. Suppose there is a legal system that
does not have a court system. They completely rely on codified laws to sentence offenders.
Now, a person steals a farmer’s fruits. The farmer suffers heavily from this and can’t
provide for his family. Because this event took place, a new law would be created stating
that a person may not steal another person’s fruits. Now, we know how sentencing law changed,
but has it improved? Well, everyone has a different view on this based on where they
stand politically. However, most people can agree that one of the greatest change in Canadian
sentencing law was when the death penalty abolished. Previously, people were hanged
or shot for committing certain crimes such as murder. This shows how Canada’s sentencing
system now also focuses on rehabilitation and not only retribution. Now we will be taking
a look into the legislation of sentencing law. The legislation of sentencing law refers
to all the laws, acts, codes, and statutes relevant to it. Legislation has a big part
in sentencing law as many pieces of legislation are regarding certain crimes. And those pieces
of legislation have a minimum required sentence. So when a person is sentenced for a specific
crime, the legislation for it is reviewed. An example of sentencing legislation is The
Truth in Sentencing Act. It’s objective is to not allow parole for people in prison.
Meaning that a person has to serve his full sentence with no chance of shortening it.
Another legislation is conditional sentencing. Conditional sentencing is when a person does
not have to serve time in a correctional facility such as a prison and can rather do community
hours, be on house arrest, or be on probation. Perhaps the largest piece of legislation regarding
sentencing law is The Criminal Code. Certain criminal offences in the criminal
code can have a range of punishments that could be carried out. The sentence is ultimately
decided in court when the criminal code is looked at along with precedent. Now, we will
be taking a look into another piece of legislation, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The charter of rights is by definition a list of rights that all Canadians have. These are
all integral to the sentencing process. If any are violated then it can change the sentence.
In a sense, the charter of rights protects people so that they are not wrongfully sentenced.
For example, a homeless man is normally walking down the street and the police with no warning
stop him, throw him to the ground, and hold him in custody. This is violating multiple
of his rights. Section 9 states: you have a right to freedom from arbitrary detention.
He was held in custody for no reason, there was no reasonable grounds. It could have been
prejudice by the police just because of the way he looked. Section 7 states: you have
the right to life, liberty, and security. His security was violated, the police could
have hurt him and caused distress. This is obviously a very extreme case, but in this
situation, there would be no sentence or punishment. As his rights were violated and no crime was
committed. Sentencing can work more effectively if Section 8 which states: “ the right to
freedom from unreasonable search and seizure” is enforced more effectively. Many people
in authority will judge someone based on the colour of their skin or what clothes they
wear and that needs to stop. A case is the information on a person that will be used
in court to be proven innocent or guilty. This includes fingerprints, weapons, information
about the scene of the crime, and etc. It is the job of the investigator to find the
truth of what happened using the evidence gathered. In the Roman and Greek times, judges
had all the power. It was a very corrupt system as judges could be paid off and you weren’t
even allowed to represent someone in court until much later. An example of a corrupt
judge and their influence is Judge Mark and the “Ciavarella’s Kids For Cash Scheme”.
The man sent thousands of kids to juvenile detention for things like stealing a mom’s
car and driving down the block. The court eventually realized that the detention centre
was paying him every time he sent a kid there. In these extreme cases, corrupt judges do
have the power to do horrific things. This is very uncommon, but it highlights how judges
do still have a fair amount of power in court proceedings. Unfortunately in today’s society,
there are racial biases and in situations where a Black man is accused of something.
no matter how well the defence proved their case an all-white jury who might be racist
could put the man away for something he didn’t do. A famous example is from To kill a Mockingbird
Where Atticus finch proves that Bob Ewell, the father of the girl who was raped, was
left-handed and the bruise on her face was on the right. Tom Robinson was right-handed
as he had an accident with his left hand. Mayella Ewall and her family were uneducated
and had a history of lying. But even with all this evidence they still found him guilty.
Although this is a fictional book many real-life cases like this did happen and is not unheard
of throughout history. The Supreme Court of Canada is an evolving thing as all courts
are. Imagine if we were still cutting people’s hands off for stealing or putting someone
on death row for talking bad about the queen of England. In the old days, the social beliefs
were different and so the sentences and punishment of the courts reflected that. Changing was
a hard thing for us to believe in. As time passed and more research was put into how
the brain works and how extremely hard punishments like solitary confinement doesn’t encourage
people to be better. As well as the evolution of social values, precedent played a huge
roll in these cases. As there was a bigger influence on reform, there were more programs
and opportunities for criminals. Who knows, maybe in the future there will be no more
prison but real rehabilitation centers. Each party has different values and different ways
of approaching problems so it would only be logical if they have different views on how
sentencing should work. The conservatives in Canada want harsher punishments because
they believe that you do the crime and you pay the time. NDP wants to remove mandatory
minimum sentences as every case is different and should be treated accordingly. The liberals
take a middle stance in where they want stronger gun control but more reform in prison as a
punishment. As they do have different views on different topics they would make laws that
help their view. An example is that the Conservatives want to increase the sentence on crimes such
as gang violence. Their solution is to have a 5-year minimum sentence on violent crimes
and possessing a smuggled firearm. In conclusion, sentencing law plays an important role in
our society and keeping it safe. It governs the area of law that determines the punishment
of someone based on a crime they have committed in a just manner. The charter of rights and
freedoms makes sure of this by declaring the rights of all Canadians and does not allow
for any abuse of power. Thank you for listening.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

Related Post