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Media Advisory: BCCLA at Supreme Court of Canada to Argue Against Limits on Conditional Sentencing

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Ottawa, ON (unceded Algonquin Anishnaabeg Territory) – On March 23, 2022, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear the case of Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada v. Cheyenne Sharma (39346). The case will examine the constitutionality of a “tough on crime” law enacted in 2012 under then-prime minister Stephen Harper. The law prevents a judge from allowing an offender to avoid jail by imposing a conditional sentence for certain crimes. Ms. Sharma is a young Indigenous woman who pleaded guilty to importing cocaine in exchange for $20,000 from her boyfriend, a task she carried out to avoid eviction for herself and her daughter. The BCCLA will argue that the law is unconstitutional because it perpetuates a colonial approach to justice against Indigenous people, leading to overincarceration. The BCCLA will argue that conditional sentences should be available to more people, especially Indigenous people, because Canada’s prisons are serving as the country’s “new residential schools.”

The BCCLA is represented by Vincent Larochelle of Larochelle Law.

WHAT: The BC Civil Liberties Association will appear at Supreme Court of Canada to intervene in Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada v. Cheyenne Sharma a case that will examine the constitutionality of a law that prevented a judge from allowing an offender to avoid jail by imposing a conditional sentence for certain crimes

WHEN: March 23, 2022 at 10:30 am ET/ 7:30 am PT

WHERE: Supreme Court of Canada (Ottawa)

The BCCLA’s factum is available here

Media Contact:

Vincent Larochelle, Counsel for the BCCLA: 867-333-3608 or [email protected]