Skip to main content

Harper’s ‘tough on crime’ is all torque

During five years in minority government, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives introduced 61 crime bills. In doing so, they successfully portrayed themselves as favouring harsh treatment for offenders. If “being tough” were all there was to criminal punishment, they would have been successful. But it isn’t that simple.

Most Canadians believe what the law has said for years: “A sentence must be proportionate to the gravity of the offence and the degree of responsibility of the offender.” But ensuring that this happens is not easy. In 2010, the Alberta Court of Appeal noted that judges sentencing identical cases would often hand down different sentences. When prison sentences are imposed, the portion of the time that is actually served in prison is not completely predictable. Many people think offenders will routinely be released on parole, although that isn’t the case.

Sentencing and release from prison, two parts of our punishment system, deserve thoughtful attention. Fixing the problems that exist in each will not be easy. But the Conservatives have systematically avoided addressing the difficult and real problems facing the criminal justice system.

Read on...

Tony Doob, one of the authors of this piece, is a Professor Emeritus at the Centre.  Tom

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Four Ways 3D Printing May Threaten Security
"3D printers already produce everything from prosthetic hands and engine parts to basketball shoes and fancy chocolates. But as with any technological advance, new possibilities come with new perils.​​​​​​​
A new RAND paper, Additive Manufacturing in 2040: Powerful Enabler, Disruptive Threat, explores how 3D printers will affect personal, national, and international security. The paper is part of RAND's Security 2040 initiative, which looks over the horizon to anticipate future threats.
The same technology that might one day custom-print heart valves can just as easily produce gun parts. The same machines that allow astronauts on the international space station to print their own tools might also help a state like North Korea print military or industrial equipment to get around international sanctions...."

They May Cause Harm

by digby



Here's a great article on the use of tasers and what's becoming an important part of the debate --- the fact that they are killing people with them:

On a balmy fall night, two police officers in a squad car in east Bradenton spotted a man on a bicycle without a headlight.

Derrick Humbert, 38, rode a bike around town because seizures from a head injury prevented him from driving. He worked odd jobs as a short-order cook and gardener. He took care of his three kids, 2, 8 and 11, while their mother worked the evening shift at a 7-Eleven.

On this Monday in late September, he was riding home from a convenience store just after midnight when police told him to stop.

Instead, he pedaled around a corner past three houses, jumped off the bike and ran into a yard, the two officers chasing him on foot.

Read on...

The Way of The Gun

Iconic characters from crime fiction's most popular writers reflect on their tools of the trade.



JOE PIKE, BusinessmanGUN: KIMBER CUSTOM II MODEL 1911 .45 ACP“The best semiautomatic combat pistol made. The lowered ejector port, full-length guide rail, beveled magazine well and superb tolerances give outstanding out-of-the-box accuracy and reliability. The big .45 ACP bullet is heavy and slow, but that’s what you want. A lighter, faster bullet will punch through a man, carrying its energy with it. A .45 hollowpoint flattens and dumps its energy into the target like a truck T-boning a Prius. You don’t need to double-tap with the .45. One shot will knock a big man off his feet. LAPD SWAT uses the Kimber. USMC Special Operations Command (Force Recon) uses it. I use it. That’s all you need to know.”WRITER: ROBERT CRAISRead on...