Monday, November 25, 2013

Guilty plea major mitigating factor on sentence even in murder

R. v. Alariaq, 2013 NUCJ 27 makes very clear the importance of a guilty plea in mitigation on sentencing:



[16]  In determining the appropriate period of parole ineligibility, the Criminal Code  tells me to consider the character of the offender, the nature of the offence, and the circumstances surrounding its commission, which in this case are horrendous.


[17]  It is hard to imagine a more pointless death than that of Karl Qinnuayuaq, whose only fault apparently was being part of the family that offered assistance to Mathewsie Alariaq when he had nowhere else to live. Murdered while he lay, defenceless, in his bed; desperately trying to escape while he was stabbed again and again, while his mother and brother came to the shocked realization of what was happening to their loved one – Karl's murder falls into the category of killings which can be described as starkly horrible.


[18]  I have to take into account the plea of guilt, and I have done so to a significant extent in following the joint recommendation before me. Were it not for the guilty plea, a parole ineligibility period of greater than 15 years would likely have been imposed.


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