Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Supreme Court rejects appeal of Conservative crime sentencing law

OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed the appeal of a convicted thief who tried to use the Conservative government's Truth in Sentencing Act to reduce his jail sentence.

It's the first time the Supreme Court has ruled on the government's controversial tough-on-crime bill, but the case likely won't be precedent-setting.

The high court was confined to a narrow issue surrounding how the law should be retroactively applied to offences committed before it came into force.

In a rare ruling from the bench today, the court dismissed the appeal of a petty criminal from Toronto who argued that he deserved greater credit for pre-trial custody.

Calvin Clarke unsuccessfully argued that even though he was formally charged after the act came into force, he deserved credit because he actually committed the offences prior to that.

The Supreme Court issued a short, verbal ruling from the bench — a rare occurrence — and said reasons would follow in the coming days.

On Feb. 20, 2010, two days before the act came into force, Clarke and an accomplice broke into a Toronto apartment because they wanted to steal a flat-screen TV.

They came across 40 to 50 prohibited firearms, so they stole those too.

Two days later, police arrested the accomplice, and he confessed and implicated Clarke.

Clarke was arrested and formally charged three weeks after the act had been on the books.

At his sentencing hearing in January 2011, Clarke argued that he deserved leniency on his sentence, and should be given double the credit for pretrial custody.

The Tories' act did away with the old practice of giving two-for-one, pre-trial detention credit.

The Ontario Attorney General successfully argued that if the high court accepted that argument it would "manufacture ambiguity where there is none."

Police managed to recover only 11 of the 40 to 50 stolen firearms.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.


Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Submit a Random Act of Kindness
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media