FASD & the Justice System

R. v. Qitsualik, 2012 NWTSC 73 (Charbonneau J.)

Guilty plea by two youthful offenders for robbery of cab driver – threat of violence by Michael (stick as a weapon), no injury – obtained $30 – Michael 20 yo, Aboriginal, childhood in foster care, bright and with a lot of skills, FASD diagnosis – no doubt FASD diagnosis has contributed significantly to behavioural problems, failure to learn from mistakes – FASD is a challenge on sentence because individual has difficulty with foresight and integration of consequences, certain sentencing principles do not operate effectively – even with understanding and empathy for condition, he has to take responsibility for actions and be held accountable, especially if it harms other people – can decide to stay away from drugs – Michael given 30 months and 1 week, two years’ probation, co-accused 26 months and 1 week.