Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Laws (LLM)

First Advisor

Palma Paciocco


This thesis explores whether and how criminal sentencing may provide an effective platform to address and remedy some of the structural violence that contribute to Black mass incarceration. Introducing race at sentencing represents an attempt to promote, at the back end of the criminal process, a discussion that is generally obscured at earlier stages. In critically assessing the merits of an explicit discussion about race, this thesis considers the “paradox of visibility”: in some contexts, a focus on Blackness operates to disadvantage African Canadians interfacing with the criminal justice system; while in other contexts, a refusal to focus on Blackness can support the myth of colour blindness and racial neutrality in the criminal justice system. Introducing race at the sentencing phase is a challenging, and perhaps even a paradoxical, manoeuvre – but one that may also be logical, insofar as we are operating within the cruel illogic of white supremacy.


Author owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.

Included in

Law Commons