Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Sensible sentencing

The British Columbia Appeals Courts overturned a plea bargain made in a "prarie court" in another district and reduced a two year sentence for a first time grower with a small operation to eighteen months of community service.

Ignoring the sticky political issues, the court ruled on the side of reason.
Although the Crown argued Shaw was manipulating the system, the judges saw a young couple trying to make ends meet who moved to Victoria to care for his ailing father and rescue the dad's second-hand store.

"In my view," Donald concluded, "a fit sentence [in this case] would be two years less a day to be served in the community. . . No useful purpose will be served by maintaining a custodial sentence. Because the appellant has already spent three months in custody, the actual sentence is 18 months less a day."
The court will endure an abundance of criticism from the Canadia version of US prohibition promoters, but it's a good decision that rightly reflects the non-seriousness of the crime. BC is light years ahead of the rest of North America on this issue.

[hat tip to Tim Meehan]


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