Mandatory Sentences of Imprisonment in Common Law Jurisdictions: Some Representative Models

Appendix A

Canada

1. Mandatory Life Sentences
Section Offence MMS Enacted
s. 47(1) High Treason Life (25) 1976
s. 231(1) – (6.1) 1 st degree murder Life (25) 1976
s. 231(7) 2 nd degree murder Life (10-25) 1976

2. Mandatory Minimum Sentences
Section Offence MMS Enacted
s. 236(a) Manslaughter with firearm 4 yrs 1995
s. 239(a) Attempted murder with firearm 4 yrs 1995
2s. 244 Causing bodily with intent with firearm 4 yrs 1995
s. 272(2)(a) Sexual assault with firearm 4 yrs 1995
s. 273(2)(a) Aggravated sexual assault with firearm 4 yrs 1995
s. 279(1.1)(a) Kidnapping with firearm 4 yrs 1995
s. 279.1 (1)(a) Hostage taking with firearm 4 yrs 1995
s. 344(a) Robbery with firearm 4 yrs 1995
s. 346(1.1)(a) Extortion with firearm 4 yrs 1995
s. 220 (a) Criminal negligence causing death with firearm 4 yrs 1995
s. 85(1) Using a firearm during the commission of an offence 1 yr 1976
s. 85(2) Using imitation firearm during commission of offence 1 yr 1995
s. 99 Weapons trafficking 1 yr 1995
s. 100 Possession for purpose of weapons trafficking 1 yr 1995
s. 103 Import/export firearm knowing it is unauthorized 1 yr 1995
s. 212 (2.1) Living off the avails of child prostitution 5 yrs 1996

3. Repeat Offenders
Section Offence MMS Enacted
s. 92(1) Possession of firearm knowing it is unauthorized 2 nd conviction – 1 yr, 3 rd & sub – 2 yrs less a day 1995
s. 92(2) Possession of weapon/device /ammunition know its possession is unauthorized 2 nd conviction – 1 yr, 3 rd & sub – 2 yrs less a day 1995
s. 202(b) Betting, pool-selling, book-making, etc. 2 nd conviction – 14 days 3 rd & sub – 90 days 1976
s. 203(e) Placing bets on behalf of others 2 nd conviction – 14 days 3 rd & sub – 90 days 1976
s. 253(a) Operating while impaired 2 nd conviction – 14 days 3 rd & sub – 90 days 1954
s. 253(b) Blood alcohol over .08 2 nd conviction – 14 days 3 rd & sub – 90 days 1976
s. 254 Fail/refuse to provide breath sample 2 nd conviction – 14 days 3 rd & sub – 90 days 1976

4. Hybrid offences - A hybrid offence is an offence where the Crown has the option to proceed summarily or by way of indictment. Crown election in each case will be the deciding factor as to whether the offender will receive a minimum sentence. If the Crown proceeds summarily, there is no mandatory minimum in place. However, if the Crown elects to proceed by way of indictment, the offender, if convicted, will face a minimum sentence.
Section Offence MMS Enacted
s. 95 Possession of prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition Indictment – 1 yr Summary – no MMS 1995
s. 96(2)(a) Possession of weapon obtained by commission of an offence Indictment – 1 yr Summary – no MMS 1995
s. 102(a) Making automatic firearm Indictment – 1 yr Summary – no MMS 1995

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