FASD & the Justice System

R. v. Charlie, 2014 YKTC 17, aff’d 2015 YKCA 32014 YKTC 17:

Sentencing of Aboriginal offender for robbery – accused and others broke into 78 yo victim’s house stealing wallet, $1700, medication and a mickey of liquor – accused 29 yo with FAS and had been negatively impacted by parents’ residential school experience – extensive criminal record, including numerous convictions for break and enter, theft, failing to comply – psychiatrist indicating that clinical presentation hard to reconcile with recommendations from FAS assessment – mental state fluctuates to a considerable degree and cognitive functioning fluctuates with it, has greater capabilities than earlier thought – society can either choose to put resources into stable housing and employment in the community or put those resources into the jail – step principle with little application to offenders with FASD because specific deterrence less applicable – separation from society legitimate – sentence: 14 months credit for pre-sentence custody (1.5:1) plus nine weeks, additional time in custody allows strengthening of release plan, followed by 3 years probation 2015 YKCA 3: sentence beyond low end of range typically imposed, but no error in principle – sentencing judge faced with exceptional circumstances –society best served if offender given chance for rehabilitation.