Morris: A Modest Step Forward and a Call to Action

Danardo Jones, "Morris: A Modest Step Forward and a Call to Action" (2022) 75 CR (7th) 29.
From the Introduction:
"Scholars and practitioners have long called for a sentencing methodology that incorporates the social realities of Black Canadians and thereby takes seriously the ameliorative impacts that judicial recognition of systemic anti-Black racism could have on sentencing outcomes — including quantitative impacts on the length of individual criminal sentences and qualitative impacts on the mode of criminal sentence.1 In Ontario, the criminal jurisprudence around the sentencing of Black offenders has dramatically increased in the past few years,2 culminating in the Court of Appeal for Ontario’s (”the ONCA”) decision in R. v. Morris.3 However, while the ONCA has long acknowledged the plights of Black Canadians at the hands of the criminal justice system,4 until Morris, the ONCA has not explicitly discussed what, if any, role that acknowledgement should play in crafting a proportionate sentence for a Black offender.5 Through its sustained analysis of this urgent question, Morris may represent a watershed moment in the criminal jurisprudence relating to the sentencing of Black offenders."
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