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Punishing the most heinous crimes : analysis and recommendations related to Bill C-53 (Life Means Life Act) / Benjamin Perrin.

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Canadian Policing Research






Includes bibliographical references.


1 online resource (32 pages)


Author(s) affiliated with: Macdonald-Laurier Institute and University of British Columbia, Peter A. Allard School of Law.
Executive summary in English and in French.


“Life in prison for a first-degree murder in Canada currently doesn’t mean exactly that. The longest period of ineligibility for parole is 25 years, outside cases of multiple murders. While all murders are of course deplorable, many would argue that some killings are so heinous, so offensive to the public and damaging to Canadian society, that the killers should be imprisoned for the rest of their natural lives. This would include violent predators who plan and deliberate about not only killing another human being, but do so while committing egregious crimes such as sexual assault, kidnapping, or terrorist activities. Or they involve the planned and deliberate killing of police officers or other officials tasked with keeping Canadians safe. To address this issue, the federal government has introduced Bill C-53, the Life Means Life Act, which would make life imprisonment without parole a mandatory sentence for certain heinous murders and a discretionary sentence in other instances. These lifers could apply after 35 years to the federal Cabinet for “executive release”. There are legitimate reasons for adding life without parole to the Criminal Code, but there are also legitimate criticisms of Bill C-53. The legislation requires amendments if it is to achieve its stated goals without being struck down based on a challenge under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”--Page 2..


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