When good rulings happen to bad people

The Alberta couple who let their going son die a horrible death from meningitis have had their convictions overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada: The Supreme Court of Canada overturned the 2016 conviction on Tuesday after about one hour of arguments from the Crown and counsel for David Stephan and his wife, Collet, found … Continue reading When good rulings happen to bad people

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The “defence did not call any of its own evidence”

That's the subhed to the CBC's online story about Raymond Cormier's acquittal on charges of murdering 15 year-old Tina Fontaine: The trial, which began on Jan. 29, was originally scheduled to last five weeks, but the Crown rested its case after presenting evidence over the course of 12 days, and the defence did not call … Continue reading The “defence did not call any of its own evidence”

Greenspan’s last words

Just hours before he passed away on Christmas Eve, Edward Greenspan, arguably Canada's best-known criminal defence lawyer, submitted this critique of the Harper government's "tough-on-crime" rhetoric (co-written with Anthony Doob) to the National Post: “All convicted criminals belong behind bars.” We know of no person knowledgeable about criminal justice in any democratic society who has ever proposed … Continue reading Greenspan’s last words

Why the accused in “12 Angry Men” is almost certainly guilty

Mind: blown. Clearly, Reginald Rose, who wrote the original teleplay as well as the film script, intended the unnamed defendant—we’ll just call him The Kid, as the jurors generally do—to be innocent. There isn’t some hidden twist that nobody’s ever noticed until now. But in attempting to make the scenario as dramatic as possible, Rose … Continue reading Why the accused in “12 Angry Men” is almost certainly guilty

Rehtaeh Parsons: a thought experiment

Christie Blatchford's controversial National Post column from last week purports to explain why prosecutors in Nova Scotia decided not to proceed with charges against the four boys who allegedly raped Rehtaeh Parsons.  According to anonymous sources (who, of course, could be desperately trying to cover their asses) there were serious problems with the case, and convictions … Continue reading Rehtaeh Parsons: a thought experiment