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Canada’s Answer to Capital Punishment

Posted by  on March 24, 2015
Canada’s Answer to Capital Punishment

The Managing Director of The Defence Group, Arun S. Maini, was recently interviewed by the Toronto Star for his opinion on Canada’s “answer to capital punishment”: the Dangerous Offender designation. The Dangerous Offender provisions in the Criminal Code were designed to give the government the tools to protect the public from society’s most dangerous violent offenders and sexual predators, like serial killers Paul Bernardo and Robert Pickton. Only a very few people qualify for that most heinous label, and its legislative sister, the Long-Term Offender designation. Once the courts label someone a Dangerous Offender, they are effectively incarcerated for life. Only in the rarest of circumstances is a Dangerous Offender released, usually because the offender is on his deathbed. Long-term Offenders are high-risk inmates who can only be released into the community in a limited and strictly controlled fashion, with intensive, round-the-clock supervision. The trouble with extreme tools such as the Dangerous Offender and Long-term Offender designation, is that governments like to use them, especially in a politically charged environment where “get-tough-on-crime” initiatives are considered good politics. Too often, the government seeks to label someone a Dangerous or Long-term Offender when a lengthy jail sentence and strict parole would suffice. When these special provisions are abused, they risk imposing the most severe punishment on people who are not the most serious offenders, and take resources away from the prosecution of those rare few who truly deserve to be locked up and have the key thrown away.

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Arun S. Maini, lawyer and founder of The Defence Group, has practised criminal law since 1995. He’s a graduate of the University of Toronto and Dalhousie University Law School. After completing his articles at a Bay St. law firm, Mr. Maini joined the federal Department of Justice as a prosecutor of drug trafficking, tax evasion, and immigration fraud cases in Toronto, Brampton and Vancouver. In 1999, Mr. Maini transferred to the provincial Crown attorney’s office in Brampton, where he prosecuted a wide range of criminal offences, from theft to murder. In 2003, Mr. Maini left the government to establish The Defence Group. Mr. Maini handles all criminal offences and regulatory prosecutions.

Over more than 25 years as a criminal lawyer, Mr. Maini has prosecuted and defended hundreds of criminal cases, and has extensive jury trial experience. Mr. Maini has also lectured at The Advocates’ Society and has taught advocacy at the Law Society and Osgoode Hall Law School’s Intensive Trial Advocacy program. Maini appears occasionally in the media to comment on criminal law – see examples from the CBC, the Toronto Star, and the National Post.

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