Truth in Sentencing and the SCC

April 18

 Retired Judge Marion Lane
Don’t Believe the Headlines: SCOC and the Truth in Sentencing Act 

 Judge Marion Lane served in the Ontario criminal courts and offers through her blog (mostly on legal matters) an analysis of the recent Supreme Court ruling around the Truth in Sentencing Act and the appropriate credit for pre-trial time served in remand. 

 Star Phoenix (Saskatoon, SK) – Editorial
Victims’ rights bill off-target 

 The editorial declares that “there is more politics than practicality” in the new victims’ rights bill.  The Star Phoenix sees little to help victims beyond consulting with crown attorneys and judges.  The bill will also likely erode the system’s ability to divert people-at-risk from further crime and recidivism.

 Dalhousie Law Journal – Melanie Randall, Western University
Restorative Justice and Gendered Violence?  From Vaguely Hostile Skeptic to Cautious Convert: Why Feminists Should Critically Engage with Restorative Approaches to Law 

 This article is a 39 page downloadable PDF that looks at the issues around feminist acceptance and practice of restorative justice principles for gendered violence.  The article has some key principles and suggested directions for further engagements.    

 Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law – Benjamin Lessing 
A Hole at the Center of the State:  Prison Gangs and the Limits to Punitive Power 

 This article from Stanford University suggests that the use of punishment has some limits when mass incarceration swells the ranks of the gangs incarcerated, turning the state power to punish especially with crackdowns and harsher sentencing into simply a means for gangs to strengthen their power against the state. 

 Washington Post – Christopher Ingraham 
The depressing durability of hate crime 

 The killing of three people in Kansas thought to be Jewish by the killer has people talking hate crimes.  The Post offers an analysis from the Southern Poverty Law Center; the number of hate groups, the geographic location, the frequency over the decade, and the groups who are the victims of hate crimes.  

 Prison Abolition 2014 (UK)
What is the Prison Industrial Complex?

 The statistical information on inmates in the UK system is a frightening indictment of our failure to care for people prior to crime.  “The Prison Industrial Complex is not just prisons themselves, it is mutually reinforcing web of relationships, between and not limited to, for example, prisons, the probation service, the police, the courts, all the companies that profit from transporting, feeding and exploiting prisoners, and so forth.” 

 RJ on-line:  David Bulley and Thom Osborne
An innovative program and case study from Turners Falls High School in Massachusetts

When a student is sent out of a class, s/he goes to an Alternate Learning Centre staffed by a RJ trained teacher.  The student gets a “ticket-out,” a series of RJ inspired written questions about the incident.  When the questions are answered, the harm and the way to fix the harm determined, the student must implement the resolution.  (Click on the red pdf button at the bottom of the abstract.)  

 N.Y. Times – Peter Baker
Obama Commutes a Prisoner’s Sentence, Lengthened More Than 3 Years by a Typo 

 Ceasar Huerta Cantu got a pardon because the justice system could not or would not correct an error made in sentencing him.  Coming as the revelation does at a time when the federal government is trying to reform the sentencing and reduce the number incarcerated, some of the lawyers are wondering about how credible is a system that can not correct what all agree was a mistake.