Mandatory Minimums - Off we go to the SCOC


Goober
Free Thinker
#1
Mandatory Minimums - Off we go to the SCOC

Ontario court rules mandatory minimum sentence unconstitutional in gun case - The Globe and Mail

An Ontario Superior Court judge has struck down a mandatory sentence of three years for a firearm offence, saying the sentence would have had grave consequences for a defendant who intended no harm.

Madam Justice Anne Molloy said it would amount to cruel and unusual punishment to impose a three-year sentence on the accused, Leroy Smickle, who was arrested while posing with a loaded gun and striking a “cool” pose.

Instead, Judge Malloy gave Mr. Smickle a one-year conditional sentence to be served under house arrest.

The decision is almost certain to be appealed, putting the courts on a collision course with the Harper government, which has made mandatory minimum sentences a cornerstone of its tough-on-crime justice platform.

Judge Malloy said that the presence of handguns in the community is a grave concern, but that Mr. Smickle’s bad judgment fell well short of dangerous criminal intent.

“To impose such an onerous punishment would, in my view, be grossly disproportionate to what Mr. Smickle deserves for a single act of bad judgment and foolishness,” she said.

Judge Malloy found there was evidence that Mr. Smickle, 30, was holding a loaded firearm when police suddenly smashed down the door of a relative’s apartment where he was staying. Police were executing a search warrant on the owner of the apartment, Mr. Stickle’s cousin, who was believed to be in possession of illegal weapons. Judge Malloy said that Mr. Stickle did not intend to threaten the police, but was merely engaged in the “very foolish act” of posing with the gun while holding his laptop computer in his other hand.

The judge cited the fact that Mr. Stickle, who is right-handed, was holding the gun in his left hand when police burst in. She also said that Mr. Stickle was so startled by the intrusion that he dropped both the gun and his laptop.

Judge Malloy said the mandatory sentence of three years was out of line with Mr. Smickle’s offence, and that elements of the law containing the sentence are “irrational and arbitrary.”

She added that a three-year prison sentence would have a harsh effect on his fiancée and a young child he has from a previous relationship. He would also face great difficulty finding a job after surviving the rigours of three years in prison, she said.
 
Nuggler
+1
#2
Beat cha. scroll down. hee hee hee.

woops, nope, sorry.
 
Spade
Free Thinker
+1 / -1
#3
With whom will we fill Canada's gulag, if we act through compassion?
 
SLM
No Party Affiliation
+3
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by Spade View Post

With whom we fill Canada's gulag, if we act through compassion?

Not to worry, there's still plenty of refer addicts out there. We'll fill up those jails.
 
Spade
Free Thinker
#5
joan baez-prison trilogy (billy rose) - YouTube
 
Goober
Free Thinker
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by Spade View Post

With whom will we fill Canada's gulag, if we act through compassion?

Add common sense and we are then on the money. The new laws are a road to problems that society will deal with for decades.

The US went down the same road, harsher sentences then we have and they are now changing gears as Man Mins do not really work.
4 pot plants - a fine - 5 pot plants 6 months min sentence. Anything from 5 to 200 plants min sentence.
 
Spade
Free Thinker
+1
#7
Goober,
2008 data
Incarceration rates:
China 111 in prison for every 100 000 population
USA 737 in prison for every 100 000 population.

Explain the reasons to me, Goober.

Cousin Spade

PS
That`s 1% of the adult population in the USA. Do we want that...
 
SLM
No Party Affiliation
+2
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by Spade View Post

Goober,
2008 data
Incarceration rates:
China 111 in prison for every 100 000 population
USA 737 in prison for every 100 000 population.

Explain the reasons to me, Goober.

Cousin Spade

PS
That`s 1% of the adult population in the USA. Do we want that...

To be fair though, China tends to execute folks for embezzlement. Just saying.
 
Goober
Free Thinker
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by Spade View Post

Goober,
2008 data.
Incarceration rates:
China 111 in prison for every 100 000 population
USA 737 in prison for every 100 000 population.

Explain the reasons to me, Goober.

Cousin Spade

Well a few things come to mind
US is more violent

China is well controlled by the massive state police and informers an.

Now in China many who have influence do not go to jail. While those with legitimate grievances do. Chinese people know what the repercussions can be. Demonstrations are a normal state of affairs in China today and they are put down quite brutally.

In the US they throw so many charges at a person that many make plea deals and take the lesser sentence

US stats would be accurate.

Who compiles the Chinese stats????
 
Spade
Free Thinker
#10
Canada, 2009
117 per 100 000 population.

Statistics Canada
 
Goober
Free Thinker
+1
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by Spade View Post

Canada, 2009
117 per 100 000 population.

Statistics Canada

I believe in some cases man mins are the only way to handle repeated violent crimes.
Pedos should be on that list.
Multiple murders should receive consecutive sentences.

Members of gangs should receive an additional sentence in addition to their original sentence - Organized criminals same thing - Little hope they will change.
 
Colpy
Conservative
+4
#12
I am thrilled that the judge struck down this foolishness of mandatory minimum sentences. May all appeals be denied, straight to the SCOC,

Mandatory minimums are a travesty of justice.

Kill them, and you remove one of the few reasons I would consider moving awat from the Conservative Party.
 
earth_as_one
+1
#13
Let the Judges use judgement. Every case is unique.
 
damngrumpy
No Party Affiliation
+1
#14
In this case good for the judge. Why do we have judges? They are to listen come to a conclusion
and impose a sentence that is applicable to the case at hand. Mr. Harper who is more like Snidely
Whiplash as a friend of mine call him, has decided that in addition to being Canada's new king he
is also able to impose a minimum sentence on anyone doing anything for any reason and I hope to
hell the courts step in here.
By the time we get this sinister little man out of office we are going to have more problems in the
justice system and more debt than any other government in Canadian history. It could turn out that
the only thing that stands between Harper and Democracy in Canada is the Justice's on the bench.
 
Walter
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by Spade View Post

Goober,
2008 data
Incarceration rates:
China 111 in prison for every 100 000 population
USA 737 in prison for every 100 000 population.

Explain the reasons to me, Goober.

Cousin Spade

PS
That`s 1% of the adult population in the USA. Do we want that...

China just makes them work in their coal mines. Voluntarily of course.

2005

Wikinews has related news: Chinese mine blast kills over 200
  • On February 14, 2005 Over 214 miners were killed in the 2005 Sunjiawan mine disaster
Wikinews has related news: Explosion kills 42 miners in northern China; 27 missing
  • On March 19, 2005 an explosion at the Xishui Colliery and neighboring Kangjiayao coal mines killed 72. [37]
  • On July 11, 2005 an explosion at the Shenlong mine killed 83. [37]
  • On November 27, 2005 171 miners were killed by a blast in the Dongfeng Coal mine in Qitaihe city, Heilongjiang province. The mine owner (plus 5 others) was later tried in court for negligence and sentenced to 6 years in prison. [38]
Wikinews has related news: Coal mine floods in northern China: 12,000 mines ordered to close
  • On December 8, 2005, a gas explosion kills 54 miners and traps 22 in the Liuguantun Mine, Tangshan Kaiping district. [39]
 
mentalfloss
#16
Judge rejects ‘outrageous,’ unconstitutional mandatory gun sentence

The Conservative government’s tough-on-crime rewriting of the Criminal Code took a potentially fatal blow when an Ontario judge struck down mandatory minimum prison sentences for gun crimes, declaring them “cruel and unusual punishment.”

Ontario Superior Court Judge Anne Molloy concluded that sending a man to prison for three years in the case before her, even though he was found holding a loaded handgun, was unconstitutional.

Leroy Smickle, 30, of Toronto, was caught in “adolescent preening” with a pistol and a web camera when, coincidentally, police burst into his cousin’s apartment.

“A reasonable person knowing the circumstances of this case, and the principles underlying both the Charter and the general sentencing provisions of the Criminal Code, would consider a three year sentence to be fundamentally unfair, outrageous, abhorrent and intolerable,” she wrote in her judgment released Monday.

The Criminal Code’s mandatory minimum provision violates Smickle’s Charter rights she ruled and, as such, she struck it down.

“Section 12 of the Charter provides that, ‘Everyone has the right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.’ That right is enshrined in our Constitution, which is declared to be the ‘supreme law of Canada’ such that any law inconsistent with the Charter is ‘to the extent of the inconsistency, of no force and effect,’” she wrote.

Justice Molloy understood the potential danger of guns but decried one-size-fits-all punishment. “As a trial judge in Toronto, I am painfully aware, and am reminded almost daily, of the deadly scourge represented by handguns in our community,” she wrote.

“Possession of a loaded restricted or prohibited firearm is a serious matter. But, typically, it is the circumstances in which the gun is possessed, and what is done with the gun, that give rise to the more serious concerns affecting community safety. It is also difficult to see how inflicting cruel and unusual punishment on an individual can be justified based on an overall legislative objective of general deterrence.”

Ottawa defended mandatory minimums and suggested an appeal is likely.

“Canadians are concerned about crime — especially crimes involving firearms. To respond to these concerns our government passed mandatory minimum sentencing for certain serious gun crimes,” said Julie Di Mambro, spokeswoman for Rob Nicholson, the Minister of Justice.

Brendan Crawley, a spokesman for the Attorney General of Ontario, said the Crown is reviewing the decision before deciding what to do next.

The mandatory minimum gun law came into force in 2008 as part of the Conservative government’s “Tackling Violent Crime Act.” A similar approach is part of the new Bill C-10, the Harper government’s omnibus crime bill. The bill has been attacked by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, which says there is little evidence mandatory minimums provide deterrence, enhance safety or lower crime rates.

Although the Toronto judgment will have important ramifications, the case it sprang from is strikingly droll. It took three smashes of a battering ram for a Toronto police tactical squad to burst into an apartment at 2 a.m. in 2009.

Smickle happened to be spending the night at the apartment when officers came looking for his cousin. Smickle thought it was thunder. When officers burst in, he was on the couch in boxer shorts, tank top and sunglasses, a pistol in his left hand and a laptop computer in his right, apparently taking pictures of himself looking “cool,” court heard.

The gun wasn’t his and police found other guns in the tenant’s bedroom, court heard. Smickle had no criminal record, held a job, has a young child and a fiancée and was working to finish high school.

He was charged with possession of a loaded firearm.

Justice Molloy sentenced him to serve five months under house arrest in addition to the equivalent of seven months spent in pre-trial custody.

Jeff Hershberg, one of his two lawyers, was elated. “The effect of this well-reasoned and thorough judgment is to put back in the hands of the judges the discretion during a sentencing hearing to provide a just and fit sentence,” he said after court.

Leroy Smickle case: Judge rejects 'outrageous,' unconstitutional mandatory gun sentence | News | National Post
 
shadowshiv
Free Thinker
+1
#17
mentalfloss, Goober already created a thread about this topic, so I just merged your thread into his.
 
mentalfloss
+2
#18
Woooooooooops.

Thanks shadow.


Quote: Originally Posted by Colpy View Post

Kill them, and you remove one of the few reasons I would consider moving awat from the Conservative Party.

Like a fish to water - you are but a pawn for their vote.

And I agree! The judge should stand his ground and get rid of this ridiculous sentence for taking a picture with you and your loved one.

But definitely take note of this move Colpers. A government that is willing to treat its own core base as expendable, should not be trusted.
Last edited by mentalfloss; Feb 14th, 2012 at 08:23 AM..
 
shadowshiv
Free Thinker
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Woooooooooops.

Thanks shadow.

You're welcome. It's happened to us all from time to time.
 
Nuggler
+2
#20
These cons do scare the bejazus outa me. An, I'm too much of a gentleman to say "I told ya"..............

Nothing we can do but make a lot of noise, object, write letters,

Did anyone really know Harpo was a "Hitler in waiting"??

Not only can these idiots not see the writing on the wall, they have trouble finding the wall.

Hopefully we still have the right to vote in 4 years.
 
WLDB
No Party Affiliation
+1
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by Nuggler View Post

These cons do scare the bejazus outa me. An, I'm too much of a gentleman to say "I told ya"..............

Nothing we can do but make a lot of noise, object, write letters,

Did anyone really know Harpo was a "Hitler in waiting"??

Not only can these idiots not see the writing on the wall, they have trouble finding the wall.

Hopefully we still have the right to vote in 4 years.

I dont agree with Harper on much, particularly not in his crime bill, but you`re just being extremely paranoid. Fearing the changes he can and probably will do is one thing, comparing him to a tyrant who used mass murder to suppress opposition is totally unjustified.

Mandatory minimums I can see for things like murder or other very violent crimes. Non-violent crimes should not have mandatory minimums.
 
Goober
Free Thinker
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by shadowshiv View Post

mentalfloss, Goober already created a thread about this topic, so I just merged your thread into his.

My apologies.
Read that again - MF - I beat you to a slam the Cons. A new record. Lol
 
relic
Free Thinker
#23
Too much of a gentleman,not me,I told y'z so,a few times,and it's going to get stupider,the smarm king and his minions are just getting started.
 
mentalfloss
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by Goober View Post

My apologies.
Read that again - MF - I beat you to a slam the Cons. A new record. Lol




Next time you won't be so lucky..
 
Goober
Free Thinker
#25
Stephen Harper's incoherent crime policy: R. Roy McMurtry, Edward L. Greenspan and Anthony N. Doob | Full Comment | National Post

By R. Roy McMurtry, Edward L. Greenspan and Anthony N. Doob

With all the talk about the Harper government’s omnibus crime bill, it would be easy to miss the real significance of the Prime Minister’s crime policy. The debate has focused largely on important but narrow issues such as whether people should be sentenced to a minimum of six or nine months in prison for growing six marijuana plants or whether we should stigmatize young people found guilty of minor assaults by publishing their names, and whether our laws should prohibit certain non-prison punishments for crimes such as break-and-enter.

The sum of the Harper crime policy is simultaneously less and more than the sum of its parts. The more fundamental issue that a crime policy should address is basic: How do we, as Canadians, want to respond to those who have committed crimes?

A starting point might be to consider a few simple truths about crime that need to be considered in a sensible overall crime policy.

Many young Canadians commit relatively minor offences — drug possession, breaking-and-entering, shoplifting — that could see them imprisoned.
As people get older, they become dramatically less likely to commit offences.
In many cases, if someone avoids reoffending for five to 15 years, their odds of committing a crime again become the same as the segment of the population that has never offended.
About 262,000 people are found guilty of criminal offences each year. Eighty-six thousand go to prison, at a cost of up to $117,000 per year per inmate.
Compared to rehabilitation in the community, prison makes people more likely to reoffend (though, of course, in some instances, prison is the only option).
One in seven Canadian males has a criminal record.
There are known, effective ways to reduce crime. Changing criminal laws alone will have little if any impact on crime.
The Harper crime policy is less than the sum of its parts because it does not add up to a crime policy that addresses, or even acknowledges, these basic facts. It squanders resources that could be used to reduce crime. Making it more difficult for people to get out from under the shadow of their much earlier offences (through a pardon or “record suspension”) makes it harder for millions of Canadians with criminal records to reintegrate into society. Adding mandatory minimum penalties will do nothing to deter offenders, who, the data demonstrate, do not expect to get caught.

But the Harper crime policy is more than the sum of its parts because it tells us that the government is committed to ignoring evidence about crime, and does not care about whether our criminal-justice system is just and humane.

The student who grows six marijuana plants in her rented apartment to share with friends will soon face a mandatory minimum sentence of nine months in prison. Meanwhile, assaults have no mandatory minimum sentences. The law says that trial judges are required to impose sentences proportional to their seriousness and the offender’s responsibility for the offence. Is someone who grows six marijuana plants much more dangerous than someone who grows five (for which there is no minimum sentence)? Or who commits an assault? The Harper Tories seemingly think so.

The government has closed its eyes to the possibility that people convicted of a crime can turn their lives around or be fundamentally good people who made one mistake. So they eliminate pardons, or arbitrarily make them more difficult to obtain. Vic Toews, the Minister of Public Safety, has proposed that the application fee for a pardon be raised from $150 to $631, saying, “We believe that ordinary Canadians shouldn’t have to be footing the bill for a criminal asking for a pardon.” Look carefully at his words. Citizens don’t get pardons, criminals do, even if that criminal has lived crime free, paid their taxes and perhaps even voted Conservative for 20 years.

The Tories are right that their incoherent crime plan is a major shift in Canadian justice policy. But this shift will not serve us well.
 
CDNBear
+1
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

A government that is willing to treat its own core base as expendable, should not be trusted.

Illegal gun owners are the Conservative core base?

And let's not lose sight that there was a search warrant being executed on the premises for possession of illegal weapons. And that Smikle was physically in possession of a restricted, illegal firearm.
 
gerryh
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBear View Post

Illegal gun owners are the Conservative core base?

And let's not lose sight that there was a search warrant being executed on the premises for possession of illegal weapons. And that Smikle was physically in possession of a restricted, illegal firearm.


So......................................Smikle does deserve 3 years in prison?
 
Goober
Free Thinker
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBear View Post

Illegal gun owners are the Conservative core base?

And let's not lose sight that there was a search warrant being executed on the premises for possession of illegal weapons. And that Smikle was physically in possession of a restricted, illegal firearm.

Has no record - His cousin owned the weapons - does he deserve 3 years in jail. I would say no. He now has a criminal record, I think he learned a lesson.
 
CDNBear
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by gerryh View Post

So......................................Smikle does deserve 3 years in prison?

Quote: Originally Posted by Goober View Post

Has no record - His cousin owned the weapons - does he deserve 3 years in jail.

I really don't have an opinion on mandatory minimums. I'm still waiting to see child pornographers and diddlers get real sentences.

But I can assure you, having done time, I go out of my way to avoid committing offences that carry the possibility of prison sentences.

Just out of curiousity, do any of you have a problem with pedo's and kiddie pornographers getting mandatory punitive sentences?
 
gerryh
#30
I have problems with manditory minimum sentences period, with this case being a prime example of why one size does NOT fit all.
 

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