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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper voices support for legislation to end parole for those convicted of certain murders – @CBCCanada

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper voices support for legislation to end parole for those convicted of certain murders – @CBCCanada

People found guilty in some killings should have to serve life in prison with little or no chance of parole, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says. He made the announcement Wednesday in Scarborough, Ont., accompanied by Justice Minister Peter ​MacKay, that his government is proposing legislation to end parole for those convicted of murders involving: Sexual assault.  Kidnapping. Terrorism. A police or corrections officer. Particular brutality. Currently, those who are convicted of first-degree murder face an automatic sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. Harper said the proposed law would only apply to “a relatively small number of offenders,” and a government spokeswoman was unable to provide any examples where the legislation would have applied. Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Justice Minister Peter MacKay will introduce legislation next week that would keep what Harper calls “Canada’s most heinous criminals” behind bars for life with little chance of parole. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press) Harper said those convicted of the crimes listed in the legislation could voluntarily petition the public safety minister for release after serving no less than 35 years. “Decisions will not rest with an appointed board, but with the federal cabinet,” he said. The bill will be introduced next week, Harper said. Recidivism rate 3% Canada’s prison watchdog, Howard Sapers, told CBC News in January that 99 per cent of offenders released on day parole last year did not reoffend, and 97 per cent of offenders released on full parole completed their parole without reoffending. Sapers said it should also be considered that Canada already has “a strong carceral response” to violent crimes. Offenders sentenced to life in Canada spent an average of 22 years in prison prior to conditional release — that’s “as much or more time,” Sapers said, than offenders in other jurisdictions, including the U.S. In an interview Wednesday with CBC News, Sapers said it’s hard to discuss the bill based on the broad strokes outlined ahead of its tabling.  “We know that life-sentenced offenders actually typically make very good parole risks, for lots of reasons. The level of scrutiny they’re under is certainly one of the reasons. But also … many life-sentenced offenders don’t have an entrenched criminal...

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