Saturday, July 28, 2012

"The Contortionist" becomes a judge!

Good Day Readers:

Nice to see Tim Killeen is now The Honourable Timothy Killeen, Provincial Judge. We first got to know him during his defence of Mark Stobbe charged in the second degree murder of his wife Beverly Rowbotham.The incident took place in 2000 but the charge wasn't laid until 2008.

During a 6-week trial that began in February of this year ending mid-March, we came up with the moniker "The Contortionist" because he didn't sit in those hard Queen's Bench oak chairs, rather, he surrounded them. Have never seen anyone sit in a chair more than 50 different ways. When we told him he had a good laugh - excellent sense of humour and was always most willing to answer our gazillion questions about the law during breaks and at the end of the day.

Also noticed he was most accommodating with the media and Robson Hall (University of Manitoba Faculty of Law) students who periodically attended the trial. Now we'll have to refer to him as The Honourable Timothy Killeen, "The Contortionist."

Since Mr. Stobbe was a senior adviser to former Premier Gary Doer, Vancouver Crown Wendy Dawson was brought in to prosecute the case. She faced an uphill struggle because all the evidence was circumstantial, nevertheless, did an outstanding job with what he had to work. Told her during the trial it's a good thing we weren't on that jury because based on what we were hearing we'd have hung it had the majority voted for an acquittal. Don't recall seeing any jurors with bulging muscles in black leathers covered in chains, tattoos and body piercings.

Now there's someone who'd also make a fine, fine judge. Again, very, very accommodating of the media and unlike certain senior Crowns here doesn't have a misplaced sense of entitlement and, therefore, in need of some major AA (Attitudinal Adjustment). She is the complete opposite. We've kept in touch to this day.

Our other two favourite Provincial Judges are Kelly Moar and Fred Sandhu. In the case of the former, he makes sure the microphones are set so everyone can clearly hear the proceedings. What a refreshing change!
Judge Sandhu always takes the time to ask those appearing before him to tell him about themselves. Here's one judge who does take and interest and cares about the accused.

At the Douglas Inquiry the audio system is a joke. It keeps malfunctioning or half the time you can't hear reminiscent of two-bit, tin, third world equipment which is unusual to say the least! Given the Inquiry will cost taxpayers millions and millions and millions of dollars before it's over you'd think the federal government would at least invest in state of the art equipment.

When we have a chance we're going to research how provincial judges are appointed. Apparently there's some provision for citizen oversight and participation. We're hearing about a selection process for Queen's Bench Justices, at least in Manitoba, that appears to be seriously flawed and broken. Perhaps the federal authorities should have a look at how it's done by their provincial counterparts.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk

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