A lawyer for a B.C. man was at the Supreme Court of Canada today, arguing a judge’s decision to impose a higher sentence than the one agreed to in a plea deal can rock our justice system.
Matthew Anthony-Cook agreed to plead guilty back in 2013 to manslaughter, in exchange for an 18-month jail sentence.
It’s the type of deal that happens all the time, but in his case, lawyer Micah Rankin says the judge felt it was not enough time behind bars — and upped it to two years, and added 3 years probation.
“But if that happens all the time, then people aren’t going to feel the need to come forward to enter guilty pleas. There’s just going to be no incentive for them to do so.”
Rankin says the country is divided on this practice, so now Canada’s highest court will decide when and if judges can toss out the sentences agreed to in deals.
The decision has been reserved.