No more credit (for prisoners)

If the Tories get their way, criminals won’t receive lenient sentences just because they spend time in pre-trial custody

Judges have been doing it for years: awarding criminals a so-called “two-for-one” credit for time spent in custody before a trial. Example: an accused rapist who waits two years in prison before his day in court, and is later convicted and sentenced to four years for his crime, will actually walk free that very day (because those two years of pre-trial custody are, according to the two-for-one formula, worth four on the other end). Police and prosecutors hate the practice, and it’s clear that countless criminals try to exploit the rules by stretching their pre-trial custody—with endless motions and delays and other legal wrangling—in the hopes of lightening their sentence on the other end. Stephen Harper hopes to change that. According to reports, the federal Conservatives plan to table legislation tomorrow that will scrap the double-time credit. Get ready for the Charter challenges.

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