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Pop quiz, hotshot… (Or, how well do you know your mandatory minimum sentences?)

On Behalf of | Oct 23, 2015 | Uncategorized

Mandatory minimum sentences have been a controversial part of sentencing in Canada. They provide a judge with a starting point from which they have to sentence individuals convicted of a crime, regardless of the circumstances of the offence. Many mandatory minimum sentences have been criticized by those involved in the justice system, given that they take away discretion from judges and can sometimes lead to unfair outcomes. Some mandatory minimums have also been found to be unconstitutional: in R v. Nur, the Supreme Court found that the 3 year mandatory minimum sentence associated with the possession of a prohibited firearm was not consistent with the Charter, given that it could affect people who are not morally blameworthy or dangerous to the public. 

Mandatory minimum sentences are meant to have a deterrent effect. In other words, they send a message that the courts take these cases seriously so that people should not engage in this kind of behaviour. But, in order for something to be deterrent, people need to know about it. I’m always curious to see if people have any idea about the sentences associated with certain offences. So, to satisfy my curiosity, I made this quiz! If you’d like, take a few minutes to see how you rate.

(Before you start, be aware that there are a few questions with two-part answers. Many of the sections of the Criminal Code allow the Crown to elect by summary conviction or indictment. There are some different procedures that come with the election, but you just need to know that summary conviction matters are less serious than indictable matters. So when you answer those questions, picture one scenario on the less serious end of the spectrum, and another on the more serious end.)

And no consulting your Criminal Code!

Here’s the link:

I’m curious to know your results. Were you surprised by any of the answers?

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