Cruel and unusual punishment – that’s how a Provincial Court judge and justice advocates have described mandatory minimum sentences, brought in by the previous Harper Government as part of its “Tough on Crime” legislation.
But Adrienne Smith with the Pivot Legal Society is now “cautiously optimistic” the new Trudeau government will repeal it.
Smith says the law hurts women, drug addicts, and First Nations.
“There are special sentencing provisions for Aboriginal offenders, but mandatory minimum sentences prevent that analysis from happening, because the judge has to impose a one size fits all sentence.”
Smith and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs are intervening in the case that goes to the Supreme Court of Canada in January.
Note: Smith uses the pronouns they/their.