Canadian Criminal Sentencing/Procedure/Overview of Sentencing

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Guilty plea or Conviction[edit]

A sentencing hearing is to be commenced "as soon as practicable" after the point where a conviction has been entered.[1]

  1. Section 720(1)

Submissions of counsel[edit]

Both the Crown and Defence are permitted to make submissions to facts for consideration.[1] However, submissions themselves do not constitute evidence.[2]

  1. s. 723(1); R. v. Digiacomo, 2002 BCCA 444
  2. R. v. Jackman, [1996] N.J. No. 107 (NLCA) “cannot be over-emphasized that, in making submissions to Court, counsel are not giving evidence but rather making argument in support of their respective submissions.”

Accused addressing the Court[edit]

At the end of the submissions by counsel, the accused is entitled to make comments to the court.[1] Failure to allow the accused to speak will not invalidate the sentence if it is an inadvertent slip or error.[2]

  1. s. 726
  2. R. v. Senek (1998), 130 C.C.C. (3d) 473 (Man. C.A.)[1]
    R. v. Holub and Kufrin, [2002] O.J. No. 579 (Q.L.).
    R. v. Haug 2002 SKCA 49

Judgement on Sentence[edit]

A judge, in deciding on a sentence, after hearing the recommendations from both Crown and Defence, may go above the range recommended by Crown counsel, but must do so after giving reasons for the sentence given.[1]

It is also recommended that the judge give counsel an opportunity to make further submissions.[2]

Upon deciding on a particular sentence the judge shall comply with s.570 and 806 requiring him to make a minute or memorandum of conviction and upon request, make a conviction order under Form 35 or 36. Further a warrant of committal, if applicable, will be made under Form 21 or 22.

  1. R. v. Jones, 2012 ONCA 609 (CanLII) at para. 10
  2. see R v Hood, 2011 ABCA 169 (CanLII) at para 15
    R v Keough, 2012 ABCA 14 (CanLII) at paras 19 to 20 and 51 to 57