Globe and Mail Reports on Dirk Derstine’s Success in Striking Down Mandatory Minimum for Firearm Offences
Here is another article on Dirk Derstine’s victory today in striking down the three-year mandatory minimum for firearm offences in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
As of today’s ruling, individuals convicted of possession of a firearm will not be subjected to a mandatory three year minimum sentence.
Mr. Smickle, the young man Mr. Derstine was appearing on behalf of, was in possession of a firearm for a matter of minutes when he picked it up and took pictures of himself which he posted on the social networking site Facebook. Even though he had no criminal record, as a result of the mandatory minimum, he was facing a minimum sentence of three years in a federal penitentiary. Thanks to today’s decision, he will serve and much more fair and appropriate sentence.
Mandatory minimums are becoming more and more abundant in Canadian law under the Harper government. Today Justice Molloy of the Superior Court of Justice agreed with Mr. Derstine that these mandatory minimums can lead to cruel and unusual punishment and, where they do, should be struck down under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Read more about this decision here: