FASD & the Justice System

R. v. F.J.N., 2012 ABPC 81 (Semenuk J.)

Guilty pleas by 19 yo offender with FASD to robbery (“street mugging”) and obstruction – 6 mos jail plus 2 years’ probation – robbery of stranger leaving drug store, apprehended by police trying to dispose of stolen property and tried to flee – denunciation and deterrence paramount, usually 12-18mos jail – offender Salteaux, Caucasion and African-Canadian, minor youth record – father with substance abuse issue, abusive, no relationship with mother – struggles with alcohol and drug use – regard for mental health issues, particularly FASD – link between mental disorder and criminality, increased vulnerability when incarcerated, reduced moral blameworthiness means that denunciation and deterrence have less weight.