The Supreme Court of Canada today said two more planks of the previous Conservative government’s tough-on-crime agenda are unconstitutional.
In the first case, the high court ruled 6-3 that mandatory, one-year minimum sentences for a drug crime when the offender has a similar charge on the record is cruel and unusual punishment, violating the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In September 2014, Joseph Ryan Lloyd was convicted of possessing crack, methamphetamine and heroin for the purpose of trafficking in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Lloyd also had a 2012 trafficking charges.
The provincial court said a one year jail sentence was appropriate, but said the mandatory minimum sentence violated the charter and the case was referred to the high court.
The Supreme Court also ruled unconstitutional 2009 provisions prohibiting a trial judge from giving more than one-for-one credit for pre-trial custody if bail was denied because a person had a previous conviction.