Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Judge's daughter sentenced for 'nasty' robberies

The adopted daughter of a provincial court judge was sentenced Friday to time served plus two years probation after pleading guilty to two counts of robbery.
Twenty-one-year-old Jessica Linda Smith is the adopted daughter of Judge Marva Smith.
Because of her mother’s position, Jessica Smith was prosecuted by a Saskatchewan Crown attorney and sentenced by a Saskatchewan judge.
Associate Chief Judge Clifford Toth described the robberies as violent and “nasty” crimes that would have welcomed a penitentiary sentence had Smith committed them in Saskatchewan. Toth said Manitoba places a greater emphasis on rehabilitation for young, first-time offenders like Smith.
Crown attorney Bill Burge recommended Smith be sentenced to two years less a day, minus credit for time served.
Smith served 208 days in custody prior to sentencing, or the double-time equivalent of 131/2 months.
“You are not on probation for shoplifting,” Toth told Smith. “If you blow it off there will be some real consequences ... You have a real record now.”
Smith’s robberies occurred within three hours of each other, in March 2008. In the first robbery, Smith was driving with three friends when, shortly before midnight, they spotted the 15-year-old female victim in a bus shelter on St. Mary’s Road. Smith pepper-sprayed the victim and stole her handbag containing a digital camera, a cellphone and $110 cash.
Less than three hours later Smith — accompanied by a co-accused — pepper-sprayed a pizza delivery driver and robbed him of $100 cash and two large pizzas.
Out of control
Defence lawyer Lisa Labossiere said Smith’s life was spiralling out of control following a domestic breakup and a number of family setbacks. According to a therapist’s report, Smith’s use of cocaine and alcohol prior to the robberies put her in a “state of emotional vulnerability and volatility.”
Smith was granted bail in July 2008 but was later returned to custody when she failed to appear in court.
Toth ordered that Smith pay restitution of $700 to her two victims and apologize to them either in person or in writing.

I completely agree with the probation sentence. She has no prior record. I believe she needs counseling and treatment for her family setbacks, drug and alcohol usage. This woman needs help, not prison. 

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