Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Sentence reductions challenged

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MANITOBA Justice is appealing two controversial sentencing decisions where mandatory minimum prison terms were quashed by separate Court of Queen's Bench judges who found they amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.

Prosecutors will ask Manitoba's Court of Appeal to re-sentence Bryce McMillan, 23, and Mario Adamo, 40. Both men learned in recent weeks they would not be subjected to years-long prison terms in their individual cases.

Justice John Menzies elected to overrule the mandatory four-year jail stint McMillan faced for recklessly firing a rifle at a Carberry home in September 2011.

Menzies sentenced McMillan, who claimed he was being bullied by town residents, to one year behind bars and two years of supervised probation, saying the unique circumstances of his case presented a situation where the mandatory minimum was demonstrably unfit.

Adamo, who lives with major cognitive challenges after being brutally beaten by Hells Angels members in 2000, was handed six months of time served and probation on a weapons charge in September by Justice Colleen Suche.

The Criminal Code said he was supposed to get a mandatory three-year prison term.

Suche ruled the law unfit, given Adamo's significant mental challenges, and declared it "of no force and effect."

Lawyers for McMillan and Adamo have yet to file responses to the appeals.

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 25, 2013 A10

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