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Ruling on Dangerous Offender Reversed

A judge’s decision to lock up a dangerous offender indefinitely has been reversed by the Alberta Court of Appeal. The judges concluded that the judge, Justice David Labrenz, failed to consider the future risk posed by the offender properly, Dillon Richard Runions. As a result, the case will be returned to Labrenz to determine a suitable punishment for the repeat offender.

Deficient Consideration of Future Risk

The appeal judges agreed with the defence lawyer, Yoav Niv, that Labrenz did not correctly assess the issue of future risk. They stated that a thorough inquiry into the possibility of control in the community is required to determine an appropriate punishment. The reliance on the rationale behind the original designation of Runions as a dangerous offender is not enough to meet this requirement.

The ruling of Dangerous Offenders

Labrenz declared Runions a dangerous offender after he pleaded guilty to a series of violent crimes, including an aggravated assault with a machete that resulted in a severe injury. The judge accepted the evidence of psychiatrist Dr. Ken Hashman, which was used to determine Runions was a dangerous offender. Labrenz concluded that there was no possibility of eventual control of Runions in the community and that his Indigenous background did not provide any comfort that he could be managed in the community.

To learn more about this ruling and its implications, be sure to read the full article here.

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