Supreme Court upholds dangerous offender provisions in Criminal Code

Ruling comes from Vancouver case where a man pleaded guilty to six offences

The Supreme Court of Canada has affirmed the constitutionality of Criminal Code provisions for declaring someone a dangerous offender who can be held indefinitely.

The 8-1 ruling today comes in the case of Donald Joseph Boutilier, who was declared a dangerous offender and sentenced to an indeterminate prison term.

Boutilier pleaded guilty to six offences arising out of an armed robbery of a drug store and subsequent car chase in Vancouver seven years ago.

He successfully challenged the constitutionality of one provision in the Criminal Code for declaring someone a dangerous offender.

A trial judge found the section to be overly broad because it did not allow an offender’s treatment prospects to be considered at the outset of the process.

However, the judge’s decision was overturned on appeal, and Boutilier took his case to the Supreme Court.

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