Criminal Lawyer Ed Prutschi Discusses Ford's Notwithstanding Clause

The Canadian public recently learned that two of their most notorious killers are not serving their sentences behind bars. Instead, they are serving their sentences to low-security healing lodges. Criminal lawyer Ed Prutschi writes for The Sun about the use of healing lodges over conventional prisons.

Terri-Lynn McClintic, convicted of first-degree murder and rape of eight-year-old Tori Stafford was transferred to an indigenous healing lodge. These healing lodges are as far from prisons as possible. There are no bars on the windows and inmates there enjoy privileges such as living with family members including children.

Canadians were also shocked to learn that Elizabeth Wettlaufer, a former nurse convicted of murdering eight seniors is now living in a psychiatric facility; a facility that boasts art, music, and theatre programs as well as Internet access.

Prutschi argues that life in prison is not about making it as miserable as possible for inmates. Rather, “At its core, the prison system is, and must be, designed to effect rehabilitation. The punitive element of a jail sentence comes largely not from making life in jail miserable, but from the inescapable fact that a life confined is a life without freedom.”

It’s a hard lesson to teach when everything around them contradicts it.


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About the author

I am one of the senior partners at Bytensky Shikhman, a criminal litigation firm in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In my 25+ year career, I have conducted numerous trials and appeals before all levels of Court in Ontario, defending just about every type of charge in our criminal law. I am also an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at Osgoode Hall Law School and currently the Treasurer of the Criminal Lawyers' Association of Ontario. I am also an Adjunct Professor for Trial Advocacy at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University and a regular lecturer and placement supervisor for Osgoode's Intensive Programme in Criminal Law.
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