Criminology- Robert Latimer case analysis

Essay by misshellkittyUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, January 2004

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This article written by Tom Hanson (2001) explains past change in the corrections policy using Robert Latimer as an example. This change affects how the "hard time policy" will be applied to offenders (The Vancouver Sun, 01). Robert Latimer was convicted of second-degree murder and was sentenced to ten year with no chance of parole and imprisonment. Hanson goes on to explain that the Solicitor General, Lawrence Mac Aulay made an announcement that those convicted of first and second degree murder would be required to spend their first two years of imprisonment in maximum security (Sun,01). Under the previous federal policy, Hanson describes how the legislative framework use to place offenders into minimum, medium or maximum security after being assessed on factors such as: risk posed, risk of escape and general adjustment to prison life. As stated in the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, 1992, the inmate was given written reasons as to their security classification.

Although the Department of Justice legislated and enacted this new policy it won't apply to Robert Latimer. As stated by Latimer's lawyers, it is unreasonable to expect new policy will apply to previous convictions (Sun, 01). That is, law cannot be applied in a retroactive fashion. In essence, the law that was in effect when an individual is sentenced is applicable to that individual sentence regardless of future changes in the law.

In this article Hanson looks at key federal government components: 1) Corrections and the Act pertaining to it, 2) The Supreme Court, 3) Federal prisons, 4) The Department of Justice, and 5) The Solicitor General. First, this article explains changes made to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, which governs the operation of parole and the federal correctional institutions (Goff, p.9). Also a federal responsibility is the federal courts and judges,