An Ontario Superior Court Judge, Anne Molloy, gave Leroy Smickle a one-year conditional sentence to be served under house arrest for photographing himself, with a computer camera, holding an illegal pistol. The mandatory sentence is three years, but the judge said that it is “cruel and unusual punishment.”
I’m all for mandatory sentences for serious crimes and for judges following the law not making it. The crime does, however, need to be serious and the mandatory sentence needs to fit the crime. Doesn’t it?
There’s more to every situation than meets the eye and Mr. Smickle could very well not be an innocent victim here; however, the mere handling of an illegal gun in a private residence should not automatically carry a three-year penalty.
Yes, Leroy Smickle was probably guilty of something, but three years’ worth? Sounds unduly harsh to me.