Frederick Junior Knife v. Her Majesty the Queen

(Saskatchewan) (Criminal) (By Leave)


Canadian charter (Criminal) - Fundamental justice (s. 7), Criminal law, Sentencing.


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Charter of Rights and Freedoms – Fundamental justice – Criminal Law – Sentencing – Dangerous offender – Whether there is a qualitative difference in the way a sentencing court looks at future risk of harm when analyzing an offender’s past behaviour in conjunction with subsections 753(1)(a)(i), (ii), or (iii) of the Criminal Code – Whether s. 753 of Criminal Code is constitutional.

Mr. Knife was serving a sentence for manslaughter. He also had prior youth offences. In a gang-related prison fight, he and several co-assailants attacked and repeatedly stabbed an inmate. Also, Mr. Knife and another co-assailant repeatedly stabbed and threw a television set at another inmate who had attempted to intervene. Mr. Knife claimed that the attack was a pre-emptive strike undertaken for safety. Mr. Knife was convicted of aggravated assault and common assault. At sentencing, the Crown applied for a dangerous offender designation. The sentencing judge declared Mr. Knife a long term offender. The Court of Appeal in part allowed an appeal by the Crown and declared Mr. Knife a dangerous offender.