August 7, 2010

Dry Eyed Justice

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruleswatch @ 9:27 am

The National Post is reporting the New Brunswick Court of Appeal weighing in to discard a Queen’s Bench sentence unduly influenced by the tragedy the offender had caused.

It reports:

A ruling by New Brunswick’s top court that declares victims “cannot be allowed to hijack” a trial and chastens a judge so moved by tearful accounts of loss that he doubled an expected sentence is prompting debate over whether it is time to rethink the judicial system’s focus on victims’ rights.

The judgment has victims’ rights advocates warning their voices are being silenced, but has others applauding the court’s appeal for what the judge described as “dry-eyed justice.” Over the past two decades, victim impact statements have become dramatic and compelling features at most criminal trials.

The newpaper reports the court of appeal decision observing:

“While retribution is an accepted sentencing principle, vengeance is not.

“The ultimate objective is dry-eyed justice according to law.”

Read more:


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