Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Death Penalty - Canada

In Canada we do not have the death penalty. To show how severe a crime is Maximum sentences are utilized.

The maximum penalties in the Criminal Code are designed to deal with the worst-case offender in the worst circumstances. The most severe maximums are 14 years and life imprisonment. Many Canadians are not aware that numerous offences other than murder carry a maximum life sentence. For example, extortion, break and enter of a dwelling house with intent to commit an indictable offence and hostage-taking, among several others, carry a maximum life sentence.
Apparently Canadian Sentences are more lengthy than in most western democracies.

Here is a chart of average time spent in Custody in various countries (this list also comes from this page of the department of Justice website, for Canada):
Australia : 14.8 years
Belgium : 12.7 years
England : 14.4 years
New Zealand : 11 years
Scotland : 11.2 years
Sweden : 12 years
United States : Life without parole 29 years, life with parole 18.5 years
Canada : 28.4 years

Now... personally, I have never known anyone in prison, or been there myself, but I gather it can be a very tough life. I only have movie reference to allude to. Death Penalty is not legal in Canada and I'm not really sure that I'd agree to it. I thought I did for a time, but, really how can you ever be absolutely sure you have the right guy for the crime? There have been well publicized cases where years after the fact the person has been released as with the advancement in investigative procedures people once thought guilty were found to actully be innocent.

So... I guess I agree with the way my country does post severe sentences, they are severe enough to deter a large part of the population from living criminal lives - there will always be some 'bad guys' but, if you can deter most of the people from living the illegal life, you are doing well, in my books.

-Posted by Desiree


Blogger Jock said...


On Michael Moore´s film we saw that in Canada the criminal rate is very low. He showed that the people can leave the doors unlocked without any fear. I don´t know if it´s just like this all over Canada, but it´s a reality that we, brazilian, can´t believe. Here it´s impossible!
I think Canada respect its prisioners. Here the jails are overcrowded, nobody works there, and when the criminal get out of it, it returns to the society even worst then he was when he did the crime.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Desiree said...

Jock, that documentary did make Canada look very safe - I do think that it showed the truth, somewhat. Yes... overall we do have a low crime-rate, but still some crimes happen.

WE do not leave our doors always unlocked, some communities may do it moreso than others. Smaller communities are more likely than larger ones to have a comfort with the open door (it will always depend on how comfortable you are with your neighbors, right?). I can say that myself, and people I know do not lock their door each and every time we shut them.... and this is something I hope can keep going on.

Our criminal system (prisons) are not all about punishment, too they are about reform - and I wouldn't know the numbers, but I believe that a certain amount of people do leave the prison system, coming back into society to lead law-abiding lives.

3:02 PM  

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