Punishing Black Bodies in Canada: Making Blackness Visible in Criminal Sentencing
Jones, Danardo Sanjay
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The plight of African Canadian offenders in the Canadian criminal justice system is well recognized. However, there is limited scholarly or jurisprudential focus on the role an African Canadian offenders race, colour and ethnicity should or does play in the crafting of a fit and just sentence. In recent years courts in Nova Scotia and Ontario have been accepting what are called Cultural Impact Assessment Reports or Impact of Race and Culture Reports (CIARs/IRCARs) in cases where a Black offender is being sentenced. This thesis discusses whether the reliance on or utilization of CIARs/IRCARS deflects from individual responsibility and proportionality and places undue emphasis on the cultural legacies and historical oppression, mistreatment and disadvantages of African Canadians. It also considers whether and how criminal sentencing may provide an effective platform to address and remedy anti-Black racism and other forms of structural violence that contribute to Black mass incarceration.