section 745.6(1)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section allows those convicted of murder or high treason to apply for a reduction in their years of imprisonment without parole after serving at least fifteen years of their sentence.

SECTION WORDING

745.6(1) Subject to subsections (2) to (2.6), a person may apply, in writing, to the appropriate Chief Justice in the province in which their conviction took place for a reduction in the number of years of imprisonment without eligibility for parole if the person (a) has been convicted of murder or high treason; (a.1) committed the murder or high treason before the day on which this paragraph comes into force; (b) has been sentenced to imprisonment for life without eligibility for parole until more than fifteen years of their sentence has been served; and (c) has served at least fifteen years of their sentence.

EXPLANATION

Section 745.6 of the Criminal Code of Canada allows convicted individuals who have been sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for parole to apply for a reduction in the number of years they must serve before becoming eligible for parole. This provision may only be utilized once an individual has served at least fifteen years of their sentence, and only applies to those who have been convicted of murder or high treason. It is worth noting that this section of the Criminal Code is subject to a variety of subsections that limit its applicability. For instance, individuals who committed murder or high treason after a certain date may not apply for this reduction, nor may those whose crimes were committed as part of organized crime activities. Essentially, this section of the Criminal Code recognizes that individuals change over time and may no longer pose a threat to society after serving a certain period of time in a correctional facility. It allows for a mechanism by which individuals can apply for their sentence to be reduced in recognition of their rehabilitation and readiness to re-enter society. However, it is important to note that the reduction of a sentence in this context is not automatic. Individuals must apply in writing to the appropriate Chief Justice in their province and provide compelling reasons why their sentence should be reduced. The Chief Justice may choose to grant or deny an application based on factors such as the severity of the crime, the individual's prior criminal record, and their behavior while incarcerated.

COMMENTARY

Section 745.6(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada discusses the possibility of a person who has been convicted of murder or high treason to apply, in writing, for a reduction in the number of years of imprisonment without eligibility for parole, provided specific conditions are met. These conditions include the person committing the murder or high treason before the paragraph came into force, serving at least 15 years of their sentence, and being sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for parole until more than 15 years of their sentence has been served. The provision of parole is a fundamental aspect of the criminal justice system in Canada. The purpose of parole is to facilitate the transition of offenders back into the community gradually. It is commonly believed that when offenders are incarcerated for extended periods, they become institutionalized and their ability to function independently and responsibly in society becomes significantly impaired. Parole presents an opportunity for offenders to reintegrate into their communities and society as a whole effectively. However, for individuals convicted of murder or high treason, the sentences can be particularly harsh, often carrying a life sentence without the possibility of parole. For these individuals, the application of Section 745.6(1) provides a chance to reduce the number of years of imprisonment without eligibility for parole. The provision seeks to recognize the possibility of reform and rehabilitation for these individuals and acknowledge their potential contributions to society. The provision has faced criticism from certain groups who argue that granting individuals convicted of murder or high treason reduced sentences after only serving 15 years is too lenient. However, it is essential to note that the provision only applies to those who have already served the mandated minimum number of years of their sentence. The Chief Justice of the province in which the individual was convicted holds ultimate discretion in deciding whether to grant a reduction in sentence. Moreover, it is worth considering that while the provision provides the opportunity for reduced sentences, it does not guarantee that individuals will be granted parole. Rather, the provision simply allows for a case to be made for the reduced sentence, and the onus falls on the applicant to prove that they are deserving of a reduced sentence and can be safely reintegrated into society. In conclusion, Section 745.6(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada offers the possibility of parole for individuals convicted of murder or high treason, recognizing the potential for reform and acknowledging their contributions to society. Though the provision has faced criticism, it ultimately provides a crucial avenue for ensuring that individuals sentenced to life imprisonment have the opportunity to reintegrate into their communities effectively.

STRATEGY

Section 745.6(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada allows individuals who have been convicted of murder or high treason and have been sentence to life imprisonment without eligibility for parole until more than 15 years of their sentence has been served to apply for a reduction in the number of years of imprisonment without eligibility for parole. This provision allows individuals to apply to the appropriate Chief Justice in the province in which their conviction took place for a reduction in the number of years of imprisonment without eligibility for parole. It is important that individuals seeking to apply for a reduction in their sentence consider all relevant factors and employ a strategic approach to their application. One important strategic consideration when dealing with Section 745.6(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is the likelihood of success. Individuals must carefully review the requirements and limitations of the provision to assess the likelihood of success of their application. This includes assessing their eligibility based on the factors outlined in the provision, such as having served at least fifteen years of their sentence and being convicted of murder or high treason. It is also important to consider the specific circumstances of their case, the facts of the offence, and any other relevant factors, such as the individual's conduct while in prison, in order to determine the likelihood of success. Another important strategic consideration is the potential consequences of making an application. The process of seeking a reduction in the number of years of imprisonment without eligibility for parole can be lengthy, costly, and emotionally challenging. Individuals must consider all potential outcomes of their application, including the possibility of rejection, the impact on their family and community, and the potential impact of their actions on their chances of a successful future. It may be helpful to consult with legal counsel to ensure that all potential consequences and factors are carefully considered. Strategic considerations when dealing with Section 745.6(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada may also include preparing a compelling application. This can include presenting a strong case for leniency, such as highlighting positive changes in the individual's behavior while in prison, demonstrating remorse for their actions, and working towards rehabilitation and reintegration into society. Providing evidence of community support and outlining a plan for successful reintegration into society can also be important factors in preparing a successful application. Finally, individuals may also consider engaging in restorative justice processes, such as meeting with the victim's family, community leaders, and others affected by the crime. Such engagement can demonstrate a commitment to taking responsibility for their actions, making amends, and working towards a brighter future. Restorative justice processes can also help to reduce the risk of reoffending and contribute to a safer and more compassionate society. In conclusion, dealing with Section 745.6(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada requires careful consideration of the eligibility requirements and limitations of the provision, a strategic approach to preparing a compelling application, and a commitment to taking responsibility for one's actions and working towards a better future. By carefully considering all relevant factors and engaging in restorative justice processes, individuals seeking a reduction in their sentence can increase their chances of a successful outcome, while also contributing to a safer and more just society.