Given accused’s recent death, it was not proper to impose different sentence

Criminal Law - Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Right to lesser punishment upon variation of sentence [s. 11(i)]

In 2016, accused was found guilty of gross indecency committed between 1979 and 1983. Accused was sentenced to conditional sentence of two years less one day and Crown appealed. Court of Appeal dismissed Crown’s appeal, holding that s. 11(i) of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms gave accused right to sentence that was not on books at time of his offences and sentencing. Crown appealed . Appeal allowed. Section 11(i) entitles offender to lesser of punishment under laws in force when offender committed offence, and punishment under laws in force when offender is sentenced. However, reading s. 11(i) in manner that would grant offender right to most lenient punishment that existed for offence at any point between its commission and sentencing would both exceed and distort purposes of s. 11(i). Therefore, accused was not eligible for conditional sentence imposed on him as it was not applicable to his offences under sentencing provisions in force either at time of commission or of his sentencing. However, given accused’s recent death, it was not proper to impose different sentence and or to remit matter for sentencing.

R. v. Poulin (2019), 2019 CarswellQue 8570, 2019 CarswellQue 8571, 2019 SCC 47, 2019 CSC 47, Wagner C.J.C., Abella J., Moldaver J., Karakatsanis J., Côté J., Brown J., and Martin J. (S.C.C.); reversed (2018), 2018 CarswellQue 55, 2018 QCCA 21, Dutil J.C.A., St-Pierre J.C.A., and Mainville J.C.A. (C.A. Que.).

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