I completely disagree with the three year mandatory minimum sentence for this man. Mandatory minimum sentences (MMS) should be abolished as they leave judges with no discretion in considering all the mitigating factors surrounding an individual, such as this RCMP officer, who had many mitigating factors. This leads to individuals being sentenced too harshly. MMS treat all crimes and offenders as if they are equal, when really, they are all different and unique. MMS also result in further overcrowded jails and prisons, which leads to increased violence and increased rates of re-offending when individuals are released.
Prison will likely have a negative effect on this man's mental condition. Also, now his 3 children are left without a stable parent and will be placed in foster care. This man is not dangerous and there is absolutely no reason he needs to be incapacitated in prison. Putting this man in prison accomplishes NOTHING other than costing taxpayers a lot more money!
I would have sentenced this man to a 2 year conditional sentence. I believe this man could greatly benefit from mental health services and psychological help, rehabilitation, community service work and employment assistance, as opposed to prison. He could be working to improve himself in the community as a productive citizen, but instead, he will be sitting in a prison cell with little opportunity for rehabilitation, surrounded by negative influences in a negative environment, pro-criminal attitudes and behaviours and gang and drug activities and influences.
Prison is also not safe for this man, as he is at great risk of being physically or sexually assaulted. Prison will not only impact this man negatively and will not serve to rehabilitate or improve him, but it will also negatively impact his children.
If I were the Judge, I would have sentenced this man to a 2 year conditional sentence, with the conditions that he attend counseling and mental health treatment for his PTSD, be provided with employment assistance, and possibly resources and support groups, where he can fill his need for belonging and identity.
This man was struggling financially and was frustrated that he could not secure employment due to his mental state. He was desperate for money to provide for his 8 year old son and in that desperate and stressful time where he needed money, he saw joining a gang as his only option. He committed a crime of opportunity, not one of revenge. He has no prior record and I do not believe he is a danger to society and therefore, should not have been imprisoned.