Miller and Cockriell Case

In 1977, J.H. Miller and V.J.R. Cockriell, charged with the murder of a policeman, argued the incompatibility of the penalty imposed by law with the Canadian Bill of Rights 1960.

In 1977, J.H. Miller and V.J.R. Cockriell, charged with the murder of a policeman, argued the incompatibility of the penalty imposed by law with the Canadian Bill of Rights 1960. The Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty for the murder of a policeman or prison guard is not "cruel and unusual punishment" in the sense that the expression is used in the Bill of Rights. Since 14 July 1976, capital punishment has been abolished in Canada, although a narrow provision for it still applies to those in military service. In McCann et al v The Queen et al (1976), federal court judges found that solitary confinement under particular conditions could be considered cruel and unusual punishment.