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Articles on Criminal justice system

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Four of the 10 federal prisoners executed this year: Wesley Purkey, killed July 16; Dustin Honken, killed July 17; Brandon Bernard, killed Dec. 10; and Alfred Bourgeois, killed Dec. 11. In some cases, survivors of their victims addressed the court. AP Photo

When families of murder victims speak at death penalty trials, their anguish may make sentencing less fair

Victim impact statements give survivors a voice in the criminal justice process. But research shows their wrenching personal testimonies may not bring closure and can add racial bias into sentencing.
Calls for help at Chicago’s Cook County jail, where hundreds of inmates and staff have COVID-19, April 9, 2020. Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP via Getty Images

Prisons and jails are coronavirus epicenters – but they were once designed to prevent disease outbreaks

In the 1790s, penal reformers rebuilt America's squalid jails as airy, hygienic places meant to keep residents – and by extension society – healthy. Now they're hotbeds of COVID-19. What went wrong?
New research shows that Canadians who live in rural areas hold more punitive attitudes about crime and how to control it than their urban counterparts. (Pixabay)

Crime and punishment: Rural people are more punitive than city-dwellers

Those living in rural areas have more punitive attitudes toward crime and how to control it than city-dwellers, and it's a major component of the growing urban-rural divide in Canada.
We have such romantic notions of being finally appreciated on Mother’s Day that some mothers feel disappointed. Perhaps we should shift the idea of what Mother’s Day can be. Bruno Nascimento/Unsplash

We need to reclaim the original intent of Mother’s Day

Mother's Day was originally a call for peace and justice. Some are advocating it be returned to a day of action and reflection.
Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould holds a press conference in the foyer of the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, March 29, 2018, regarding the criminal justice system. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

How a proposed law could cut off legal aid for low-income people

Bill C-75 was introduced to the House as a way to fix issues with the criminal justice system. However, an unintended consequence is that low-income people will lose access to law school clinics.
Concrete action steps are needed to help reconciliation, says a research team that offers 12 actionable ideas. Here Ben Paul, of the Musqueam First Nation, sings and plays a drum during the Walk for Reconciliation in Vancouver, B.C., on Sept. 24, 2017, held to promote positive relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

New guide kick-starts reconciliation in the justice system

It's been three years since the TRC released its report on the lasting impact of residential schools in Canada but responses to the 94 Calls to Action have been slow. A new framework hopes to change that.

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