Tag Archives: sentencing

Ontario Judge Considers Systemic Anti-Black Racism As A Sentencing Principle

Earlier this year, a Toronto jury found Kevin Morris (“Morris”), a 26 year old black man, guilty of several gun-related charges including possession of an unauthorized firearm, possession of a prohibited firearm with ammunition and carrying a concealed weapon.  The jury acquitted Morris of assaulting a police officer with intent to resist arrest. Morris was sentenced to 15 months in jail.  Predictably, there was an outcry in some media and corners of the criminal justice community that the sentence was too lenient and “soft on crime”.  On September 11, 2018, several months after Morris’s conviction, Justice Shaun Nakatsuru, the trial judge, released his written reasons for the sentence, including why he spared Morris from serving time in a federal penitentiary.   The reasons run twenty-one pages in length.  At the end of the reasons, Justice Nakatsuru attached as an appendix a report entitled “Expert Report on Crime, Criminal Justice and the Experience of Black Canadians in Toronto,” written by three social scientists.  The appended report, also runs 21 pages in length, excluding another 10 pages of footnotes.
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