Accounting for Law

Judge orders new pre-sentence report

A sentencing judge made the right decision ordering a new pre-sentence report in the case of a convicted murderer waiting to hear how long he must spend behind bars before seeking parole, Toronto criminal lawyer Roots Gadhia says in the Globe and Mail.

“The probation officer did not make the effort to contact available sources,” Gadhia says in the Globe, noting she asked Justice Robert Clark to disregard it, save for basic biographical information.

Gadhia's client, Lavare Williams, 21, is one of two Toronto men found guilty in the May 2010 slaying of 17-year-old Mitchell Celise, shot in the back as he fled down a sidewalk with his killers in pursuit, the report says.

Williams must spend at least 10 years in prison, including the three years he has already spent in custody, the report says, noting Prosecutor Patrick Clement told Clark he wants Williams to serve at least 14 years before he has any prospect of parole.

In the article, Gadhia says the “lazy” four-page pre-sentence report crafted by a probation officer omits crucial information about Williams – his school records, his criminal record as a juvenile, and input from his family.

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