B.C. Court of Appeal ruling upholds federal dangerous-offender laws | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Current Conditions

0.6°C

B.C. Court of Appeal ruling upholds federal dangerous-offender laws

June 02, 2016 - 12:17 PM

VANCOUVER - British Columbia's highest court has overturned a ruling that found nearly decade-old changes to the federal dangerous-offender laws violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The decision involves 47-year-old Donald Boutilier, who pleaded guilty in May 2012 to six offences including robbery and assault with a weapon, but challenged a Crown request seeking dangerous-offender status.

Boutilier's lawyer argued successfully that 2008 revisions in an omnibus crime bill passed by the then-Conservative government were too broad and violated the charter, in part because they removed judicial discretion over dangerous-offender designations.

Changes to classification and sentencing of dangerous offenders generally made it easier to apply the law to anyone with multiple convictions.

A panel of B.C. Court of Appeal judges has now ruled that the lower court was wrong to find dangerous-offender provisions remove a judge's sentencing discretion or are too broad.

The unanimous decision upholds the Crown appeal, saying that when all the evidence is considered, it is reasonable to conclude that an indeterminate sentence is the best way to manage the risks posed by Boutilier.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

  • Popular vernon News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile