Accused was convicted of second degree murder by a jury. Issue regarding constitutionality of ss 235, 745(c) and 745.4 CC. Argument that accused’s low intellectual capacity and psychiatric difficulties rendered mandatory life sentence cruel and unusual.

Held: no s 12 violation. 15-year parole ineligibility imposed.

Nur, 2015 SCC 15 analysis. While accused’s intellectual disability reduced his moral blameworthiness, this mitigating factor was limited by jury’s finding that accused had the requisite intent for murder.  Court not satisfied that accused’s intellectual disability would affect his ability to cope in jail. “In my view, any sentence less than life imprisonment would not significantly serve any of the goals of sentencing except perhaps rehabilitation…the importance of that goal in this case ranks significantly lower than denunciation, general deterrence, and, especially, protection of the public”.   Fit sentence would be life imprisonment; thus, statutory minimum not grossly disproportionate.


S. Renouf – Defence Counsel