Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"Two Years Less a Day" - Vol. 1

'Two years less a day' is perhaps the most prescribed prison sentence in the country.
A sentence of two years or more means that the criminal must serve the time in a federal prison.
Sentences smaller than two years less a day are administered by the provinces and are subject to much more flexible and lenient dispositions.
Judges adjudicate with this 2 year threshold clearly in mind and it sometimes leads to some pretty disturbing sentences.
Generally speaking, those who are sentenced to 2y-1D should consider themselves somewhat lucky, they usually deserve a lot more time.

Vicious assaults Nets Man Zero Jail Time
Peter Niedzielski says he has no idea what possessed him to attack three women in the Snowdon m├ętro station in Montreal. One of the victims spent two weeks in coma and suffered permanent brain damage and facial disfigurement. Speaking in his own defence, the 31-year-old defendant told the court- "that people should let bygones be bygones"- because as he claimed, he's turned his life around since his drug-fueled rampage.
In pleading for no jail time, his lawyer,
Vincent Montminy told Quebec Court that "Going to jail can't erase the pain of the victim."Montreal Gazette
Although the prosecution asked for a five year sentence, the judge gave him the proverbial '2 years less a day' and then ordered him to serve his sentence outside of prison. Link
(in French)

4 Million dollar Fraud Nets Thief Zero Jail Time
I guess stealing from a bank is not regarded as much of a crime in Quebec.
Josie Cioffi, a manger at a downtown Royal Bank branch in Montreal engineered a clever fraud whereby she lent money to phony companies that she had set up herself. She managed to defraud the bank out of 4 million dollars before being found out. She was found guilty in Quebec court and the crown prosecutor recommended a five year prison term.
The Judge saw it differently and gave her a sentence of 2 years, less a day.
But the kicker is that the Judge Jean-Pierre Boyer, allowed her to serve her sentence under house arrest. She is however, allowed to leave her home for work or to go to medical appointments.
Oh yes, she also got 180 hours of community service. Link (in French)


  1. Canada once had a solid justice system with firm but fair, no-nonsense prisons. Pierre Trudeau began changing all of this during his years in power. One more way he hurt the country...

  2. You know, everybody should stop dumping on Trudeau. He was a successful prime minister with a lot of problems that flew his way: ever heard of the FLQ? What about Alberta dragging their heels on a plan that could have helped Canada immensely. He repatriated the constitution and made sure we are guaranteed rights. Leave the man alone - he didn't invent 2y-1d!