Changes and the Criminal Justice System.
This article summary is about criminal code changes in Canada. On June 8, 2000 the Honorable Anne McLellan, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada introduced amendments to the Criminal Code that will make sentences more tough for home invasions and criminal harassment and to better the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system. She also announced changes that will make the process for stronger investigating allegations of wrongful convictions and make it more open and accessible.
"The home invasion change would identify home invasions as an aggravating circumstances to be considered by the judge at the time of sentencing. This lets the judge know that they view home invasions as a serious criminal act and that it should have significant penalties.".
As for criminal harassment or stalking, the sentence would be doubled from five years to ten years. The government also issued a handbook for police and prosecutors on criminal harassment. This gives guidelines on aspects of criminal harassment, including victim safety. These together should toughen the systems response to criminal harassment.
Also included are amendments that will improve the process for reviewing allegations of miscarriages of justice in offenses that resulted in a conviction. The amendment will spell out clearly the criteria for which they consider granting a new trial. It also allows for regulations to clearly state how one applies for a review and the process of review. Also, the judge will be required to provide an annual report on the operation of conviction reviews. Some other changes being made to improve the conviction review process are that a special advisor will be appointed from outside the department to review applications sent in by people that feel they were wrongly convicted. There will also be a web site set up to give people information on the process.