FASD & the Justice System

R. v. Harris, 2002 BCCA 152

Crown appeal of CSO for B&E, breach – lengthy record including breaches of court order – judge concluded that offender ‘probably’ had FASD but no assessment – finding of profound disability led to focus on rehabilitation and CSO, no evidence – subsequent testing indicated no diffuse impairment – difficulty in getting FASD assessment noted – error to diagnose Harris with FASD, wrong to base sentence on conclusion about mental capacity derived from assumptions and general knowledge – sentence was wrong when applied, but given good performance on it not demonstrably unfit.