Tuesday, September 23, 2008

PM's plan: Life terms for 14-year-olds

Les Whittington Ottawa Bureau

DRYDEN, Ont.–Prime Minister Stephen Harper has played the law-and-order card, seeking to tap into Canadians' fear of gang violence and street crime by proposing a crackdown on youth offenders.

Under his proposed law-and-order legislation, judges would have the option to sentence youths 14 and older to life in prison if they are convicted of first-degree or second-degree murder, Harper said yesterday.He also said he would legislate tougher sentences for other violent youth crime, such as attempted murder, manslaughter and aggravated assault. And Harper would change the law to ensure that names of those convicted would be made public.

Can someone tell me precisely who this will appeal to? Who has been advocating sentencing 14 year olds to life in prison? Please don't tell me polling indicates this is a winning issue in Canada. Tom

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