Crime Rates & Minimum Sentences

Two articles in the Globe and Mail recently:

If crime rate is low, why do you require minimum sentences for something as petty as having SIX marijuana plants? Having SIX marijuana plants I think is no where NEAR any amount to be considered at the level of “trafficking.” Please note: I am not for for drug use, nor am I for criminal activity.

I think the Bill S-10 on minimum sentences is a bit over the top. I also believe that it will greatly affect Aboriginals and youth, as highlighted in the article, Liberals Come Out Against Tory “Dumb on Crime” Legislation.

Aboriginals are already over-represented in the criminal justice system. I wonder how this bill will affect Gladue Court decisions involving Aboriginals who enter the justice system under the Gladue Court.

You can read my other post on Criminal Pardons. Here, it is proposed that price to pay to get a pardon is considered to be raised.

I guess the Conservatives don’t realize that the Criminal Code of Canada is meant to do the following:

Purpose
718. The fundamental purpose of sentencing is to contribute, along with crime prevention initiatives, to respect for the law and the maintenance of a just, peaceful and safe society by imposing just sanctions that have one or more of the following objectives:

(a) to denounce unlawful conduct;

(b) to deter the offender and other persons from committing offences;

(c) to separate offenders from society, where necessary;

(d) TO ASSIST IN REHABILITATING THE OFFENDER;

(e) to provide reparations for harm done to victims or to the community; and

(f) to promote a sense of responsibility in offenders, and acknowledgment of the harm done to victims and to the community.
As taken from Canlii.ca

It would be nice if the Conservatives showed at least a bit of realization of the entire purpose of the Criminal Code of Canada and not just the part where it says “to separate offenders from society.” Creating more legislation that further marginalizes the Aboriginal people in Canada and the issues that they face (like being over-represented in the criminal justice system), just doesn’t do any good for the entire Canada society–Especially since Aboriginals are the fastest growing population in Canada (especially between the ages of 18-26). Read about those stats on Stats Can.

Creating more legislation for criminal activity doesn’t “denounce” or “deter” criminal activity, it just means it’s more than likely crime will go further unreported especially since “criminals” may be working harder at not “getting caught.” (Meaning, crime will go further unreported since it may be harder to detect crime–as mentioned in “Think Tank article above.)

Sorry Mr. Harper, but more bills/legislation pertaining to the Criminal Code of Canada won’t change crime rates or crime reporting, it just presents the reality that rehabilitation of the offender, or the full recognition of this major federal legislation, is not on your agenda: only a part of it. Additionally, your bills further oppress Aboriginals (and even youth). What a way to make for a better Canada–hurt the fastest growing population and the future of Canada!

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