In paragraph 81 of the Supreme Court of Canada's Appeal Court of Appeal, in the context of sentencing, what is the effect of the sentence on the offender's moral blameworthiness?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from R. v. R.E.M., 2004 BCPC 387 (CanLII):

Also in paragraph 81, the Chief Justice talks about denunciation. He says: Retribution, as well, should be conceptually distinguished from its legitimate sibling, denunciation. Retribution requires that a judicial sentence properly reflect the moral blameworthiness of the particular offender. The objective of denunciation mandates that a sentence should also communicate society's condemnation of that particular offender's conduct. In short, a sentence with a denunciatory element represent a symbolic collective statement that the offender's conduct should be punished for encroaching on our society's basic code of values as enshrined within our substantive criminal law. As Lord Justice Lawton stated in R v. Sargeant (1970) 60 C.A.R., 74 at page 77: Society, through the courts, must show its abhorrence of particular types of crime and the only way in which the courts can show this is by the sentences they pass.

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