The Death Penalty, Mandatory Prison Sentences, and the Eighth Amendment’s Rule Against Cruel and Unusual Punishments

Osgood Hall Law Journal, Vol. 39, Nos. 2&3, pp. 427-447, 2001

22 Pages Posted: 9 May 2010

See all articles by Jamie Cameron

Jamie Cameron

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

Date Written: 2001

Abstract

The text of section 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibit cruel and unusual punishment in language that is similar but not identical. Still, in considering constitutional restrictions on punishment, the decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada and the United States Supreme Court both focus on the concept of gross disproportionality between the offence committed and the state's response. Despite the appearance of similarity, this article maintains that differences in the American law of sentencing explain why Canada ought not follow or adopt the United States approach to minimum sentences.

Keywords: Constituional, law, punishment, American approach, Canadian approach

JEL Classification: K1, K19

Suggested Citation

Cameron, Jamie, The Death Penalty, Mandatory Prison Sentences, and the Eighth Amendment’s Rule Against Cruel and Unusual Punishments (2001). Osgood Hall Law Journal, Vol. 39, Nos. 2&3, pp. 427-447, 2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1600734

Jamie Cameron (Contact Author)

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

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