The Canadian Criminal Justice System Essay

The Canadian Criminal Justice System Essay

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In June 2014, Justin Bourque was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder after shooting three RCMP officers and wounding two others in Moncton, New Brunswick (Chronicle Herald 2014). He was subsequently convicted and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for seventy-five years (Chronicle Herald 2014). Bourque’s sentencing is unprecedented and is the longest sentence in Canadian history (Chronicle Herald 2014). A Canadian judge has not given a harsh a punishment since the final executions in 1962 (Chronicle Herald 2014).
I believe my case study would be best suited after the chapter on sentencing. This would be beneficial to students as after reading about the history of sentencing and its associated theoretical principles, they would have the knowledge and ability to have an informed opinion about Justin Bourque’s sentencing, and hopefully, see its long-lasting implications on the Canadian criminal justice system. As well, I hope they will be able to put Bourque’s case in perspective and use their new knowledge to offer possible alternative sentencing options for Bourque, or for someone who is convicted of similar charges.
Due to the nature of Bourque’s offenses, the Crown prosecutor, Cameron Gunn, focused his sentencing on denunciation, a condemnation or criticism of another’s actions (O’Regan, Reid, 2013). Gunn wanted his sentence to send a message towards society that Bourque’s crimes were extremely heinous and will not be tolerated, rather than focusing on Bourque’s individual needs. Similarly, his sentence was retribution-based. Retribution is the belief that the severity of the sentence should depend on the seriousness of the crime and not the seriousness of the i...


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...at, but they spend sixty-eight billion dollars a year on a failing system, that could be used towards education, health care, or simply reforming a broken criminal justice system (Justice Policy institute). These are only possible repercussions of Justin Bourque’s precedent defining sentence. In addition, Bourque’s lack of parole eligibility gives him no incentive to comply with prison rules and standards for good behaviour, which may result in prison violence. Consequently, harsh prison conditions result in more recidivism for offenders who are eventually released. Crown prosecutor Cameron Gunn focused Bourque’s sentence on denunciation, retribution, and deterrence, rather than focusing on Bourque’s individual needs as an offender.
Justin Bourque was not deterred by Bill C-48 or by Travis Baumgater, as his sentence was previously the harshest in Canadian history.

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The Canadian Criminal Justice System Essay

- In June 2014, Justin Bourque was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder after shooting three RCMP officers and wounding two others in Moncton, New Brunswick (Chronicle Herald 2014). He was subsequently convicted and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for seventy-five years (Chronicle Herald 2014). Bourque’s sentencing is unprecedented and is the longest sentence in Canadian history (Chronicle Herald 2014). A Canadian judge has not given a harsh a punishment since the final executions in 1962 (Chronicle Herald 2014)....   [tags: Crime, Prison, Criminal justice, Criminal law]

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