Canadian Sentencing Circles

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A sentencing circle is a chance given to the accused at which they hope to positively sway the court of laws passing sentence, by organizing a peace-making conference amongst the offender and victim. Once the meeting has been called, resolving the clash between the parties, confessions and request for forgiveness usually become the main focus of the discussions led at a sentencing circle; all helping the Native criminal offender in a way not willingly presented to other Canadians. Sentencing circles are in contradiction of the very essential Western Law. It overlooks the Rule of Law which specifies equal treatment under the law and the Common Law Rule of pattern. Sentencing circle penalties are hardly ever in proportion to the misconduct, and…show more content…
Within the circle, people can express themselves and communicate with emotion in a collective pursuit for understanding of the incident, and together recognize the stages compulsory to contribute in healing all affected parties and prevent future crimes. Moreover, sentencing circles agree to the First Nation communities to engage themselves in their ancient culture, using the traditional form of Aboriginal justice. Sentencing circles normally comprise a multi-step process that includes: (1) a request by the criminal to partake in the course; (2) a restorative group for the target or the victim; (3) a restorative group for the delinquent; (4) a sentencing circle to develop an agreement on the essentials of a punishing plan; and (5) circles to observe the improvement of the criminal from time to time. Sentencing circles have been established most comprehensively in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and the Yukon, along with the occasional use of it in various other communities. Sentencing circles are specifically constructed for adult and young offenders with a range of misdemeanours and have been used in both rural and urban locations. The process of the circle varies from community to community and are planned to meet the adequate needs of the community and their culture. An individual’s Aboriginal standing is regarded in influencing the punishment since his or her surroundings are different from non-Aboriginal offenders. One of the main reasons why the Criminal Code of Canada treats Aboriginal people distinctively and as a different community is due to the fact that Aboriginal people are overrepresented in Canadian jails. For instance, in 1997, Aboriginal people founded to be close to 3 percent of the residents of Canada, yet constituted to 12 percent of all state prisoners. The judges have to deal with the sentencing of the Aboriginal people in a unique manner considering their background factors.

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