Friday, June 01, 2012

Time to change the law Canada?

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Good Day Readers:

Unlike the American system jurors in a Canadian trial are not allowed to go public once it's over presumably risking being slapped with a contempt of court citation. We think this is archaic. Here's why?

If the primary argument is to protect juror identity that simply does not hold up under close scrutiny. Cover a trial at The Law Courts and you will pass them in the hallways or in the cafeteria annex or going for a walk outside the courthouse or ..... . Our point? Any investigator worth their weight in salt should be able to identify them.

However, there is one critical proviso. They not be allowed to go public until after all avenues of appeal have been exhausted so any comments they make will not and cannot influence the court's decision.

Subject to the foregoing, CyberSmokeBlog believes the educational value for the legal community, prospective jurors and the public far out weighs any possible negative impact. One of the difficult decisions for a client and their defence attorney is whether to place the accused on the stand to tell their story subject to cross examination by the Crown. Case in point? The recently concluded Mark Stobbe second degree murder trial at which the decision was made to have him testify.

What impact if any did his testimony have on the jury? We'll never know. What were the critical factors that lead to his acquittal? Again, we'll never know. Too much information with educational value is being lost.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk

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