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FIRST READING: The shockingly light penalties Canada hands out for killing children – National Post

Sep 07, 2023

Ten years in prison is effectively the limit for offenders convicted of doing unspeakable things to preschool-aged children

First Reading is a daily newsletter keeping you posted on the travails of Canadian politicos, all curated by the National Post’s own Tristin Hopper. To get an early version sent directly to your inbox, sign up here.

An unsettling case of child-killing out of Calgary has garnered attention for the seemingly light sentence sought for its perpetrator.  Tyriq Kootenay was convicted of manslaughter for killing a six-month-old baby girl by smashing her head into a wall. The child’s battered body – found stuffed in a suitcase by police – also had a large bite on her back that Kootenay had inflicted. For this, the Crown is seeking a jail sentence of 10 years, while defence lawyers want it to be eight.

The case may be shocking, but it’s anything but anomalous. Canadians convicted for the violent deaths of young children routinely escape with sentences of five years or less. Below, a not-at-all comprehensive list of cases from just the last few years in which the death of a child was met with jail sentences about as lenient as the one being sought in Calgary.

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