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.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Judges gives youth open custody and community service for first time youth offender- - A move in the right direction

A 17-year-old male has been sentenced to 10 1/2 months custody and community supervision for his part in a vicious, unprovoked attack on a 45-year-old man.
The victim was walking home with his 22-year-old son when he was swarmed by the accused and five other youths underneath the Osborne Street bridge, shortly before midnight, July 3, 2009.
The man was punched, kicked and beaten with a wooden stick before being robbed of his wallet and car keys, court was told.
He suffered three broken ribs, two black eyes and cuts and bruises to his face and head.
“It’s inexplicable, the violent and unprovoked nature of the attack,” said Judge Carena Roller. “It boggles the mind.”
The boy — who was 16 years old at the time and had no prior recordpleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault.
The maximum sentence under the Youth Criminal Justice Act is two years custody and community supervision.
The victim’s son flagged down police officers who arrived at the scene to find the accused still standing over the victim.
The boy admitted to beating the victim with a stick but claimed he had no memory of the attack because he was drunk.
Roller allowed the youth to serve his sentence in open custody, meaning he is eligible for temporary absences.
Crown attorney Lisa Carson argued the severity of the attack didn’t justify open custody.
“The criminal culpability and moral culpability here is high,” she said.
The boy will serve seven months of his sentence in custody and the balance under community supervision.
Roller sentenced him to an additional 12 months supervised probation.

First of all, by saying 'it boggles the mind', implies that this was the wrong decision to "award" open custody, when really, it's a move in the right direction. This wil give the public the distorted perception that we need harsher penalties, when they aren't even given the other side. This is a biased article.

I definitely agree with this sentence, compared to the alternative of the maximum 2 years custody and community supervision. He is a first time offender and admitted to the attack, but was intoxicated which would have impaired his judgment. Therefore, he should not be sentenced harshly, especially under the YCJA which focuses upon rehabilitation and reintegration of youths.  

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