Imagine a world where judges always wrote and worked with empathy. From R. v. Armitage:

[55]            If I could describe Mr. Armitage as a tree, his roots remain hidden beneath the ground.  I can see what he is now.  I can see the trunk.  I can see the leaves.  But much of what he is and what has brought him before me, I cannot see.  They are still buried.  But I am sure that some of those roots involve his aboriginal heritage and ancestry.  They help define who he is.  They have been a factor in his offending.  They must be taken into account in his sentencing.

[56]            It is also obvious that this tree is not healthy.  The leaves droop and appear sickly. It does not flourish regardless of the attention paid upon it. The tree needs healing.

[57]            A part of any sentencing for an Aboriginal offender is to see if there is a way to further that healing.  Of the offender and of the community he lives in.

[58]            One important thing I must consider is the past injustices done to the aboriginal peoples in this country.  How that has affected the present.  How that has affected Mr. Armitage.  I must also consider the present problem of the over-incarceration of aboriginal offenders.

[62]            I find that Mr. Armitage appears before me as a dispirited man.  He has really no self-esteem.  He does not think of himself as important.  As a result, he does not seem to care about what he does.  The harm he has caused to others.  The harm he has caused to himself.  His spirit has fallen ill. Although I cannot say exactly how or describe it in easy to understand words, it strikes me that Mr. Armitage is a metaphor for what negative effects colonization has had on many First Nations people and communities.