FASD & the Justice System
R. v. Sisco, [2008] O.J. No. 157; 2008 ONCJ 12

FACTS: Raymond Sisco pled guilty to three counts of robbery. He was in custody pending sentence for six months. Crown and defence counsel agree that Mr. Sisco is an Aboriginal offender. He has a lengthy record including one prior crime of violence for which he received a lengthy penitentiary sentence. Until this occasion, he has never asserted his Aboriginal heritage as a sentencing factor. Accounting both for Mr. Sisco's Aboriginality and his pre-sentence custody, Crown counsel says that the appropriate sentence is one of a further four to five years imprisonment. Defence counsel suggests the appropriate disposition is a further two years of incarceration. Mr. Sisco may suffer from FASD, although he has never been subject to an assessment in this regard.

However, he is a "special needs" individual burdened with intellectual, cognitive and executive-functioning deficits that impair his capacity to conduct himself in a legally appropriate fashion. That said, it is his psycho-pharmacological dependencies that are at the root of his most recent conflicts with the law.

HELD: Three years incarceration. Subtracting from this Mr. Sisco's pre-sentence custody of six months, and treating it on the conventional two-for-one basis for purposes of sentence calculation, results in a period of further imprisonment of approximately two years followed by 1 year of probation. Also, that he attend at the offices of the Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto within two weeks of his release to seek their assistance in arranging a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder assessment and in applying to the Ontario Disability Support Program, and that he provide his probation officer with written proof of such attendance.

CanLII Link: http://www.canlii.org/en/on/oncj/doc/2008/2008oncj12/2008oncj12.html