Ridiculous Sentencing


SLM
+1
#1
You know here in Canada, if you rape, molest a child, or beat your family you might get, oh I don't know, 7 years or so. First offenses often shorter. That's ridiculous, these are individuals that are proven dangerous. Sane, rational people often look at this and ask "Do we have to wait until they kill someone?". Now I'm not the 'throw the book at them' type, I don't advocate shoving people into prison for every little thing, just the brutual violent stuff and keep them in there. Not just as punishment/consequence but also to simply protect the public.

But then we venture south of the border and yes, I know, very high incarceration rate. But still, down in the U.S. we get sentences like this one.

Arizona gunman, Jared Loughner, gets seven life terms - World - Canoe.ca (external - login to view)

This would be the guy that shot the congresswoman in Arizona and killed six people, one a little girl if I remember correctly. So yes, he should be in jail for the rest of his life. But seven consecutive life sentences. Seven.

I know, it makes a statement. Part of that statement has to be the inability of the legal system to understand the lifespan of a human being surely.

I look at these two radical extremes and just wonder if there is any sense left anywhere.
 
captain morgan
+3
#2
I believe that the prosecution tries to separate the charges in order to be 'safe'.. If all the charges were rolled-up into one big charge - and if the defense were successful - maybe all of the individual crimes would be thrown-out .

In effect, if the first charge is over turned, there is the second one, third, etc... In this case, maybe the prosecutor was successful on all
 
karrie
+3
#3
I get frustrated with the light sentences too SLM. Seeing your friend bump into their rapist on the street after he served his 2 years in prison for example, makes you angry at the ridiculous ways some things are sentenced. But, the consecutive life sentences, to me, that's about the victims more than the criminal. All seven people shot, all seven lives ruined, got their justice. He didn't just get convicted for the little girl. He didn't just get convicted for the politician. He was convicted for all of them. I think there's a logic in that.
 
Goober
+2
#4
Oh and you have the ones that are sentenced to 2 life terms without parole plus 400 years - sentences to be served consecutively.
 
SLM
+1
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

I believe that the prosecution tries to separate the charges in order to be 'safe'.. If all the charges were rolled-up into one big charge - and if the defense were successful - maybe all of the individual crimes would be thrown-out .

In effect, if the first charge is over turned, there is the second one, third, etc... In this case, maybe the prosecutor was successful on all

I can see the separate charges that makes sense but to specifically make all the sentences consecutive just seems kind of extreme to me. Surely after two or three consecutive life sentences we're pretty safe to have the rest of them run concurrent. It's more of a statement I think, the sentencing part of it.

Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

I get frustrated with the light sentences too SLM. Seeing your friend bump into their rapist on the street after he served his 2 years in prison for example, makes you angry at the ridiculous ways some things are sentenced. But, the consecutive life sentences, to me, that's about the victims more than the criminal. All seven people shot, all seven lives ruined, got their justice. He didn't just get convicted for the little girl. He didn't just get convicted for the politician. He was convicted for all of them. I think there's a logic in that.

Yeah I get the symbolic 'reasoning' behind the excessive sentences but it's just when you look at it comparatively between the two nations, it's so far apart it's crazy!

It is really distressing to me to see so many light sentences here in Canada.
 
Goober
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

I believe that the prosecution tries to separate the charges in order to be 'safe'.. If all the charges were rolled-up into one big charge - and if the defense were successful - maybe all of the individual crimes would be thrown-out .

In effect, if the first charge is over turned, there is the second one, third, etc... In this case, maybe the prosecutor was successful on all

The Us Prosecutors also have a conviction rate of approx 90 % - Going by memory- may be wrong- they load up the charge sheets and work downwards -
 
WLDB
+3
#7
I always did find it strange and kind of funny that they sentence people to centuries. Just saying "Life in prison with no parole" makes more sense.

I definitely agree that sentences for rape and child abuse (physical or sexual) are way too low here. They should have been fixing this with that omnibus crime bill instead of going after victimless crimes involving drugs.
 
SLM
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by GooberView Post

The Us Prosecutors also have a conviction rate of approx 90 % - Going by memory- may be wrong- they load up the charge sheets and work downwards -

I can't say I think that's a bad thing really. Of course it all hinges on the police arresting the right guy too.
 
captain morgan
+1
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

I can see the separate charges that makes sense but to specifically make all the sentences consecutive just seems kind of extreme to me. Surely after two or three consecutive life sentences we're pretty safe to have the rest of them run concurrent. It's more of a statement I think, the sentencing part of it.

It certainly is extreme, but in light of the crimes that were committed, they were also extreme.

I don't know the answer to this question, but one of the things that drives me nuts is the 2-for-1 time that people get for the time they spend in jail before the trial... Maybe that is the offset or justification for (some) of the consecutive sentencing practices.

Yeah - I doubt it too... It's probably just sending a punitive message
 
Goober
+2
#10
Conviction rate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (external - login to view)

The conviction rate of a prosecutor or government is the number of convictions divided by the number of criminal cases brought. Japan has a conviction rate that exceeds 99%, which has been attributed to low prosecutorial budgets impelling understaffed prosecutors to present judges with only the most obviously guilty defendants.[1] In the U.S. federal court system, the conviction rose from approximately 75 percent to approximately 85% between 1972 and 1992.[2] The conviction rate is also high in U.S. state courts. Coughlan writes, "In recent years, the conviction rate has averaged approximately 84% in Texas, 82% in California, 72% in New York, 67% in North Carolina, and 59% in Florida."[3]

http://www.justice.gov/usao/reading_.../10statrpt.pdf
 
SLM
+1
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

It certainly is extreme, but in light of the crimes that were committed, they were also extreme.

I don't know the answer to this question, but one of the things that drives me nuts is the 2-for-1 time that people get for the time they spend in jail before the trial... Maybe that is the offset or justification for (some) of the consecutive sentencing practices.

Yeah - I doubt it too... It's probably just sending a punitive message

That's it exactly. Nothing wrong whatsoever with sending a message. Sentenced to the rest of your natural life in prison without possibility for parole sends the same message. I just think sometimes that the 300 year or 400 year prison sentences are grotesque. It's over doing it, if you know what I'm saying.

Now I would definitely love to see some life sentences, or pretty damned close to it, handed out here a little bit more often.
 
JamesBondo
+1
#12
I believe that "life in prison with no chance of parole" is only 12 years in Canada.

I would totally support sentences in the hundreds of years for mass murders. Murder should not be cheaper by the dozen.
 
petros
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

That's it exactly. Nothing wrong whatsoever with sending a message. Sentenced to the rest of your natural life in prison without possibility for parole sends the same message. I just think sometimes that the 300 year or 400 year prison sentences are grotesque. It's over doing it, if you know what I'm saying.

Now I would definitely love to see some life sentences, or pretty damned close to it, handed out here a little bit more often.

The reason behind those long sentecnes is to eliminate any chance of parole or early release due to whatever circumstances might arise in future.
 
taxslave
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

I can see the separate charges that makes sense but to specifically make all the sentences consecutive just seems kind of extreme to me. Surely after two or three consecutive life sentences we're pretty safe to have the rest of them run concurrent. It's more of a statement I think, the sentencing part of it.



Yeah I get the symbolic 'reasoning' behind the excessive sentences but it's just when you look at it comparatively between the two nations, it's so far apart it's crazy!

It is really distressing to me to see so many light sentences here in Canada.

With that many life sentences he is unlikely to get early parole as so often happens in Canada.
 
karrie
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post


Yeah I get the symbolic 'reasoning' behind the excessive sentences but it's just when you look at it comparatively between the two nations, it's so far apart it's crazy!

It is really distressing to me to see so many light sentences here in Canada.

If you think those kind of sentences for murderers is insane, you should go look at some of the things people have gone away for life for in the US under the three strikes law.
 
taxslave
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

That's it exactly. Nothing wrong whatsoever with sending a message. Sentenced to the rest of your natural life in prison without possibility for parole sends the same message. I just think sometimes that the 300 year or 400 year prison sentences are grotesque. It's over doing it, if you know what I'm saying.

Now I would definitely love to see some life sentences, or pretty damned close to it, handed out here a little bit more often.

Maybe these sentences can be inherited? Kind of like curses going to the tenth generation.
 
SLM
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

If you think those kind of sentences for murderers is insane, you should go look at some of the things people have gone away for life for in the US under the three strikes law.

Oh I know, three strikes is a good idea in principle but it's how it's applied that's wacky.

And yet again we have Dangerous Offender legislation here but apparently that's quite difficult to get applied unless you're a Bernardo or an Olsen.

Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Maybe these sentences can be inherited? Kind of like curses going to the tenth generation.

Talk about the sins of the father being visited upon the son!
 
petros
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

And yet again we have Dangerous Offender legislation here but apparently that's quite difficult to get applied unless you're a Bernardo or an Olsen.

You're right.

This guy lived just down the block from me I hung out with his brother.

Convicted man declared dangerous offender - CBC News

Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Talk about the sins of the father being visited upon the son!

It goes both ways...

His parents begged the Crown to lock him up for life the first time he offended at 13 or 14. If he could have, his dad would have dropped him down a well like a sack of kittens.
 
shadowshiv
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

If you think those kind of sentences for murderers is insane, you should go look at some of the things people have gone away for life for in the US under the three strikes law.

A guy got sent to prison for the rest of his life by stealing a bicycle(it was one of those bait-bikes, similar to the bait cars used to nab car thieves), as it was his third felony conviction. It seems crazy getting sent to prison for life for stealing a bike, but it was his third felony conviction after all. He knew that the 3 Strike law was there, and as he had already had 2 strikes on him, he should have been smart enough to not find himself in the situation that he did. I'm not saying he necessarily deserved the life sentence, but certainly he can't really blame anyone but himself.
 
Dingus
+1
#20
Think yourself lucky. Here in England, if you sexually abuse children for 5 decades, you get an OBE, fame fortune and nonorary degress. If you are a terrorist and preach hate against the citizens that you have chosen to live among, you get welfare benefits, free health care, subsidised housing and police protection. If you head up the BBC and are incompetant, work for the BBC for just 54 days, and know NOTHING about programmes naming (wrongly) paedophile MPs, and (wrongly) covering up prominent celebraties carrying out "kiddie fiddling" abuse and rape of minors, you et to resign with a 1/2 million pound pay off. GREAT Britain. - yeah right.
 
EagleSmack
+4
#21  Top Rated Post
Hey look at the bright side... you can always say you have less people in prison that the US does. That always sounds so nice and superior.
 
Kathie Bondar
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by WLDBView Post

I always did find it strange and kind of funny that they sentence people to centuries. Just saying "Life in prison with no parole" makes more sense.

I definitely agree that sentences for rape and child abuse (physical or sexual) are way too low here. They should have been fixing this with that omnibus crime bill instead of going after victimless crimes involving drugs.

Just in passing, there are no victimless crimes involving drugs
 
Cannuck
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by Kathie BondarView Post

Just in passing, there are no victimless crimes involving drugs

Of course there is.

There should be minimal, short basic sentences with unlimited incarceration time. For example, 5 years for murder but, in order to get out, you must meet a few conditions. So, it's not inconceivable a murderer could spend his entire life behind bars.
 
L Gilbert
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

I believe that the prosecution tries to separate the charges in order to be 'safe'.. If all the charges were rolled-up into one big charge - and if the defense were successful - maybe all of the individual crimes would be thrown-out .

In effect, if the first charge is over turned, there is the second one, third, etc... In this case, maybe the prosecutor was successful on all

Multiple convictions has no bearing on whether the sentences were consecutive or concurrent, though. All it takes is one conviction to stick. Consecutive sentences mean that the sentences are served end-to-end and concurrent sentences are served all at the same time. Life without parole is simply life with no ifs, ands, or buts; you serve till you die.
 
Goober
#25
From what i recall 5 % or so of criminal are responsible for approx 40 % of crimes in Canada.
 
L Gilbert
+1
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by Kathie BondarView Post

Just in passing, there are no victimless crimes involving drugs

Ah, so pot should stay illegal and people should still be able to become addicted to pharmaceuticals. It's illegal to smoke pot (regardless of leniencies afforded some people by the gov't) here unless you have the appropriate perms from gov't. Tell me how anyone or my neighbor is a victim if he smokes pot to ease his discomfort and no-one else is affected by it.
 
damngrumpy
#27
Of all the garbage crimes committed these are the worst. Someone who beats their wife and kids
does not deserve another chance once discovered and brought to light. In BC there is a law used
by the police that can actually not allow contact for a specific number of days and that can range
up to I think 120. Neither side may like it but they can do it.
As for child molestation or rape, those people cannot be cured therefore they are a danger to the
public and those people should not be allowed out of jail ever period. Wife beaters should be in
fact supervised for a specific period and if there is even one repeat offence the law should determine
the fate of said individual and that means no further contact. The reason I say that is, the kids are
damaged and they should not be subjected to that lifestyle. If the mother returns to a relationship
like that she should do so without her children. Face it, we society pays in the long run either way.
Therefore we should have some say here as to the arrangement. Sentences are not longer because
we still have the hush hush keep it in the closet mentality as a society and that has to change.
 
SLM
+1
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

Hey look at the bright side... you can always say you have less people in prison that the US does. That always sounds so nice and superior.

Yeah that looks good on paper but it also means we let them out onto the streets.

All jokes aside there has to be a happy medium between what our two nations does. Is there a nation out there that does it right?
 
L Gilbert
+1
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Yeah that looks good on paper but it also means we let them out onto the streets.

All jokes aside there has to be a happy medium between what our two nations does. Is there a nation out there that does it right?

Countries With the Lowest Crime Rate in the World | eHow.com (external - login to view)
 
Goober
+1
#30
Pick a few stats and see how many more prisons we need.


Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2011 (external - login to view)

Police reported over 3,800 incidents of sexual violations against children in 2011. The rate of sexual violations against children rose 3% between 2010 and 2011, making it one of the few categories of violent offences to increase in 2011 (Table 5). Among the specific offences included in this category, the rate of invitation to sexual touching (+8%) and luring a child via a computer (+10%) increased, while sexual interference remained stable and sexual exploitation decreased 7%.

The UCR also captures data on incidents of child pornography, which encompasses publishing, distributing and accessing material. Police reported more than 3,100 incidents of child-pornography in 2011, 900 more than in 2010. The rate of child pornography incidents increased 40%, the largest increase of any Criminal Code offence in 2011. It should be noted that fluctuations in the rate of child pornography are most likely reflective of police-based programs and initiatives targeting this particular offence.

Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2011 (external - login to view)


Police-reported rate of sexual assault continues downward trend

Similar to physical assault, sexual assault is categorized into three types, based on the severity of the incident. In 2011, police reported just over 21,800 sexual assaults, the majority of which (98%) were classified as level 1, the least serious of the three forms (Table 4).

Overall, the rate of sexual assault declined in 2011, down 3% from the previous year. While all three types of sexual assault decreased, aggravated sexual assault (level 3) saw the greatest decline (-23%).

Most provinces reported a decline in the rate of sexual assaults in 2011. Of those showing increases, Prince Edward Island was the largest (+22%), yet still reported the second lowest rate.

Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2011 (external - login to view)

Both the volume and severity of violent crime declined in 2011. The violent crime rate fell 4% between 2010 and 2011, as did the violent CSI, marking the fifth consecutive drop in the severity of violent crime (Table 1a, Table 1b).

Similar to previous years, violent crimes accounted for about one-fifth of offences reported by police in 2011. Police reported more than 424,400 violent incidents, 14,800 fewer than in 2010.

Almost every type of violent crime decreased or remained stable in 2011, with the exception of a 7% increase in the rate of homicides, a 3% increase in the rate of sexual offences against children and a 1% increase in criminal harassment (Table 4).
 

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