Interventions in the House of Commons
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View Elizabeth May Profile
View Elizabeth May Profile
2017-10-20 10:17 [p.14326]
Mr. Speaker, I have to approach this on the basis of the impact societally of mandatory minimums. The overwhelming evidence from experts in criminology is that mandatory minimums do not work as a deterrent, and that mandatory minimums have an effect of skewing our judicial system so that a judge has less discretion in perhaps giving more significant penalties. In some states, for instance, Texas, they have stopped using mandatory minimums. They increase the discretion of a prosecutor to work with a defendant to force a result before it even goes to trial, and in some cases, allow a lesser penalty.
I know that my hon. friend for Langley—Aldergrove disagrees. However, I would rather see our courts apply the sentences based on a judge looking at the severity of the crime. I am also offended when someone who has killed someone while drinking and driving is let off with a light sentence. My disagreement with my friend for Langley—Aldergrove is that I do not think mandatory minimum sentences are the solution.
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