section 746.1(2)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section restricts parole and certain absences for individuals sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for parole for a specified number of years.

SECTION WORDING

746.1(2) Subject to subsection (3), in respect of a person sentenced to imprisonment for life without eligibility for parole for a specified number of years pursuant to this Act, until the expiration of all but three years of the specified number of years of imprisonment, (a) no day parole may be granted under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act; (b) no absence without escort may be authorized under that Act or the Prisons and Reformatories Act; and (c) except with the approval of the Parole Board of Canada, no absence with escort otherwise than for medical reasons or in order to attend judicial proceedings or a coroners inquest may be authorized under either of those Acts.

EXPLANATION

Section 746.1(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada addresses the issue of parole eligibility for individuals who have been sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for a specified number of years. This section states that until the expiration of all but three years of the specified number of years of imprisonment, certain restrictions apply. Firstly, no day parole may be granted under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act. Day parole refers to a type of parole where an individual can spend up to 12 hours a day in the community but must return to the prison or correctional facility at night. This restriction means that individuals sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for parole for a specified number of years cannot benefit from this type of conditional release option. Secondly, no absence without escort may be authorized under that Act or the Prisons and Reformatories Act. This means that individuals cannot be granted unescorted leave from the prison or correctional facility where they are serving their sentence, which could include leaves for personal reasons or to engage in community service. Thirdly, except with the approval of the Parole Board of Canada, no absence with escort may be authorized under either of those Acts, except for medical reasons or attending judicial proceedings or a coroner's inquest. This means that individuals must obtain approval from the Parole Board of Canada to leave with an escort for any reasons other than the ones mentioned above. Overall, section 746.1(2) provides additional restrictions on parole eligibility for individuals sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for parole for a specified number of years. These restrictions are aimed at ensuring public safety and limiting the potential for reoffending.

COMMENTARY

Section 746.1(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada imposes strict restrictions on individuals who have been sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for parole for a specific number of years. This provision specifically applies to offenders who have been convicted of heinous crimes such as murder, terrorism, and treason. The objective of this provision is to ensure that offenders serve their full sentence without the possibility of early release, except in exceptional circumstances. One of the most significant restrictions that this provision places on such offenders is that they cannot be granted day parole under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act. Day parole refers to a type of conditional release that allows offenders to leave the prison during the day to engage in activities such as work, educational programs, or to receive medical treatment. However, offenders who have been sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for parole for a specific number of years cannot be granted day parole, which means that they are confined to the prison for the duration of their sentence. Another significant restriction imposed by this provision is that no absence without escort may be authorized under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act or the Prisons and Reformatories Act. Absences without escort are situations where offenders are allowed to leave the prison unaccompanied, for example, to attend a funeral or visit a dying family member. However, this provision prohibits such absences for offenders who have been sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for parole for a specific number of years. The provision also places strict restrictions on absences with escorts. Absences with escorts refer to situations where offenders are allowed to leave the prison, but they are accompanied by a correctional officer or a security personnel. However, this provision prohibits absences with escorts, except for medical reasons or to attend judicial proceedings or a coroner's inquest, without the approval of the Parole Board of Canada. This restriction ensures that the offenders are carefully monitored and tightly controlled, reducing the possibility of escape or reoffending. In conclusion, Section 746.1(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a crucial provision that ensures that offenders who have been sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for parole for a specific number of years serve their full sentence without the possibility of early release. The provision imposes strict restrictions on such offenders, including the prohibition of day parole, absence without escort, and the requirement for approval for absences with escorts. These restrictions play a crucial role in ensuring public safety and reducing the risk of reoffending.

STRATEGY

Section 746.1(2) of the Canadian Criminal Code outlines the conditions under which a person sentenced to imprisonment for life without eligibility for parole for a specified number of years may be granted certain forms of release, such as day parole or absence with escort. For legal professionals involved in criminal cases where this section may apply, there are a number of strategic considerations to keep in mind. One key consideration is the potential impact of this section on the sentencing recommendations that are put forward during the trial. If it is likely that the defendant will face a life sentence without eligibility for parole, regardless of the length of time specified, then it may be strategic to focus on other aspects of the sentence, such as minimizing the number of ancillary orders or fines. This could involve presenting evidence of mitigating factors, or emphasizing the defendant's potential for rehabilitation. Another strategic consideration is the potential role of the Parole Board of Canada in future proceedings. If there is a chance that the defendant may become eligible for parole after the expiration of all but three years of their sentence, then it may be strategic to begin building a case for eventual parole well in advance. This could involve working with the defendant to develop a plan for rehabilitation, or gathering evidence of positive changes they have made while in prison. One strategy that could be employed in cases where this section applies is to negotiate with prosecutors for a plea deal that reduces the sentence to a term where eligibility for parole is possible. This could involve agreeing to plead guilty to a lesser charge that carries a shorter sentence, or offering to cooperate with law enforcement in exchange for a more lenient sentence. This approach may be more viable in cases where the evidence against the defendant is strong, or where there is a desire to avoid a trial that could potentially result in a harsher sentence. Overall, lawyers involved in criminal cases where Section 746.1(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a factor must carefully consider the potential impact of this section on the case, and develop appropriate legal strategies accordingly. This may involve negotiating with prosecutors, building a strong case for eventual parole, or focusing on other aspects of the sentence. Ultimately, the goal should be to achieve the best possible outcome for the defendant, while ensuring that justice is served in accordance with the law.