This study is a critical analysis of the penal reform project put forward by the Canadian Commission on Sentencing from the point of view of moderation. The author first considers the Commission's position in the penological debate between the Medical Model and the Justice Model. He then analyses the “new theory on sanctions” proposed by the Commission, as well as its position on “community measures” and on the ideal of rehabilitation. Finally, his analysis focuses on a number of the Commission's major recommendations for reform, its policy in terms of maximum and minimum sentences, the new “exceptional sentence” (intended to replace the present measures regarding “dangerous criminals”), its position on imprisonment of “twenty-five years' minimum” and its general guidelines for Canada. In conclusion, the author make an evaluation of the orientation of the Commission's reform with respect to the principle of moderation.
This article discusses the findings of empirical research into the working habits of defence attorneys. Contrary to what is implied by the current expression “plea bargaining”, it is not the plea but the sentence which is the real object of the negotiations taking place between the prosecution and the defence. When no agreement is reached between the Crown prosecutor and the defence attorney, they resort to formal representations made before the judge during a sentencing hearing and argue for their conflicting recommendations. Hence, it is not a criminal trial but a formal sentencing hearing, where both parties argue their case, which is the outcome of a failure of the Crown and defence attorney to reach a negotiated agreement on the fate of a defendant.
Sentencing research has generally neglected taking into account how perceptions of the severity of available sanctions affect sentencing behavior. Based on the magnitude estimates of just how severe penalties of different kinds and different amounts criminal courts perceive them to be, this paper identifies the current exchange rates on what Wilkins has called the “punishment market” explains why so many alternatives to imprisonment experiments have backfired, offers a justification for the existing penal repertoire and finds criminal court's severity scales to be socially well grounded.
This note analyzes the perceptions and proceedings of judges and Crown prosecutors when they face a hardly known, decried and severely punished phenomenon: poaching. The findings of a qualitative research indicate that the means and procedures of game protection have unintended implications. The deterrent effect of mandatory minimum penalties is not obvious, while there is evidence that they burden unduly the administration of justice.