• Publication Date: February 1, 1999
  • ISBN: Print (Paperback): 9781552210437
  • 417 pages; 6" x 9"

Getting Away With Murder

The Canadian Criminal Justice System

$24.95

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Product Description

Runner-up for the 2000 Donner Prize
Shortlisted for the 2000 Walter Owen Book Prize


Since Cain killed Abel, the crime of murder has fascinated humans. So, too, do murder trials. They enable us to be voyeurs, peering from a safe distance into the dark recesses of the human capacity for evil and deadly impulse, and allowing us to bear witness to the ceremonial punishment of wrongdoers.


If the process of fatal crime and punishment fascinates, the Canadian criminal justice system infuriates, with its technicalities, its habit of coddling offenders, its abuse of victims, its inane defences, and its parole system.


Using the docudrama of a crime of murder as a lead to each chapter, Getting Away with Murder: the Canadian Criminal Justice System unravels the mysteries of the criminal justice system, explaining how and why we sentence offenders and pointing out where we err, particularly with the parole system. It describes the reasons behind the system’s technicalities and why some of the guilty receive their benefit. The book explores the inadequacies and excesses of criminal defences, and illustrates why the system is miserly when it comes to victims’ rights. Suggesting that much of the loss of confidence in our criminal justice system is based on misunderstanding and inadequate information, the book provides information to fill in the gaps without becoming an apologia for the system.


Although entertaining—written with a sense of humour and a bit of irreverence—the book is a serious, hard hitting, and candid work by a law professor who has acted both as prosecutor and defence counsel.

Preface

PART ONE: FAITH AND JUSTICE

CHAPTER 1: The Credibility Crisis

PART TWO: CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

CHAPTER 2: In Defence of the Need to Punish

CHAPTER 3: Conditional Justice

CHAPTER 4: The Injustice of Parole

PART THREE: GETTING OFF ON TECHNICALITIES: THE RULE OF LAW

CHAPTER 5: Defining Crime

CHAPTER 6: Getting Off on Technicalities

PART FOUR: PROVING GUILT AND MAINTAINING INNOCENCE

CHAPTER 7: The Specific Allegation

CHAPTER 8: Presumed Innocent

CHAPTER 9: Closing Our Eyes to Find the Truth

CHAPTER 10: Abandoning the Search for the Truth

PART FIVE: JUSTIFIABLE HOMICIDE

CHAPTER 11: Forgiving Human Weakness

CHAPTER 12: Kill or Be Killed: The Law of Self-Defence

CHAPTER 13: Losing Control: Provocation and Excusing the Inexcusable

CHAPTER 14: The Abuse Excuse: “Psychobabble” and the Protection of Basic Values

CHAPTER 15: Disordered Minds: Insanity, Automatism, and Intoxication

PART SIX: THE ROLE OF THE VICTIM

CHAPTER 16: The Sad Truth About Victims’ Rights

CONCLUSION

CHAPTER 17: Responding to the Credibility Crisis

Notes

“Getting Away with Murder makes an important and timely contribution to discussion of reforming our justice system. Anyone interested in crime and justice should read it. Along the way, they will learn a great deal about the law and the administration of justice.”
The Globe and Mail
“…consistently challenging and absorbing… . For anyone who prefers to understand and think before deciding whether to join in the outrage, Getting Away with Murder is mandatory reading.”
The Ottawa Citizen
“Paciocco provokes readers into challenging their own opinions on important criminal justice matters. Many of his conclusions are as blunt and unsettling as they are articulate.”
The Vancouver Sun
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