Ethics and Law/The prison system Editorial term paper 3589

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Current Publications on

The Prison System

and the

Role of Sentencing

By: Bartek Sliwa

Course: Law 12

Period: 4

Date: April 05/01

Roles of Sentencing

"Little man gets Life"

When Lionel take was only Twelve years old he killed a young girl named Tiffany Eunice. His Defense was that it was just "boyish horseplay" that just didn't work out for him. Lionel Tate was sentenced to life in prison. He could have gotten three years, on a plea bargain, but his mother said no. Why did she say no? Did she think that the boyish horseplay story would work and he would get off completely? But it didn't and he got life. His only chance is to get a clemency from his governor, this will probably happen because all the people involved are thinking twice about the decision to give him life. Even a prosecutor said he would support a bid for clemency. I don't understand this because why do they push for maximum and after getting it they go soft and support a lesser punishment.

Could the fact that Lionel Tate was black and his victim white have some thing to do with the verdict to give him life? I think so, and now they are thinking about giving him a lighter sentence because of public pressure. Only five per cent of the American population is African-American but they make up over 50 percent of the prison population. Now to me and my college this suggests that the American legal system is still highly influenced by racial tensions. Its like saying goes "The tree was cut down, but its roots run deep."

Canadian Prison System

"Not a country club"

Most Canadians have the impression that the prison system in Canada is too soft on dangerous criminal offenders, releasing them too quickly into society, with out anything being accomplished in reforming. Then they commit more offences and return to prison. "Canadians hold strong views about our prisons, but know profoundly little about them."

"But it's also an intriguing always troubling world we rarely get a glimpse of."

Most Canadian prisons are quit small in the amount of prisoners they can hold which is only about 450 appose to the massive 3,000-person prisons in America. This reflects on the quality of our prisons, even though they still aren't that great they are far better than those of our neighbors to the south because they are easier to control and safer. But they are still grim places where few people would want to stay. The cells are "…cluttered and Closter phobic.... a greasy concrete cube the size of a small bathroom.... no its not pleasant." The Canadian prison system is quit efficient with only 70 per cent of the prisoners repeating criminal activities and returning to prison.

I don't think that the prison system is too soft on the treatment of its prisoners while they are imprison. Even though they did commit crimes against society and the judicial system should filtered them out of society because they aren't able to produce any thing to further mankind, but only to work against him in their evil ways. They should still be give a chance to change. The time the inmate spends in prison can be used more productively in re-education, forced labor and other such activities. But I do believe that the system is too soft on sentencing, which is the key factor on this subject. For those who are beyond reform and/or would usually get life imprisonment should instead be dealt with in a swift and direct manner. They should be executed with extreme prodigious, with little or no mercy. In order to keep prison population lower, capital punishment should be taken in to higher account.

List of Articles

PublicationTitle of Article Title of Article Date of Publication Brief Description

Winipeg Free Press Life term too harsh? June 26/1990 guy crashes a car and kills three people

Maclean's The system Failed us April 27/1992 Two people wrongfully acused

Maclean's Questionable Justice March 03/2001 Innocent man spends 23 years in jail

Maclean's A triumpn of faith April 27/1992 A mothers struggle for justice

Globe and Mail man boated in to confession June 29/1994 A junky I stricked in to confessing his crimes

News Week Little man gets life March 19/2001 A boy gets life for killing a girl

The Daily News Young offenders getting tough March 05/2001 No onle likes young offenders act

Vancouver Sun Nazi gets 12 years April 4/2001 Ss member is caught for war crimes

Maclean's Juvenile Justice October 10/1993 Teenager kills a store owner and robs him


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