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Tuesday, February 14, 2017 @ 2:05 PM

Prison drug scanners present headache for defence counsel, inmates' families

When it comes to visiting inmates in prison everyone from grandmothers to defence counsel is searched for drugs. ... [read more]

Monday, February 13, 2017 @ 3:03 PM

Law students examine suspected wrongful convictions

Students learn by doing. More and more, law students are learning by redoing. Legal courses, programs and clinics are requiring students to relive and re-examine wrongful convictions and other miscarriages of justice. ... [read more]

Monday, February 13, 2017 @ 11:19 AM

SENTENCING - Offences in relation to terrorism - Particular sanctions - Imprisonment - Consecutive sentences - Sentencing considerations - Totality principle - Sentence imposed on co-accused

Appeal by the Crown and cross-appeal by the offender, Ahmed, from a 12-year sentence imposed for terrorism-related offences. The offender supported the Taliban and believed it was his duty to assist violent Jihadist causes. He fostered a relationship with Alizadeh, who had attended a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan and sworn an oath of loyalty to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Alizadeh sought to form an Ottawa-based terrorist group that would conduct attacks in Canada. The offender solicited money from his father-in-law and another individual, Sher, for Alizadeh to send to foreign terrorists to purchase weapons. The offender knew that Alizadeh possessed components for making remote controlled explosives and intended to assemble them for use in Canada. The offender hosted a meeting with Alizadeh and Sher in which they attempted to recruit Sher for a terrorist group led by the offender. All three individuals were arrested shortly thereafter. The offender was arrested in possession of explosive devices, but neither the Crown nor the defence was able to prove the purpose for which the devices were possessed. Alizadeh pled guilty and received a 24-year sentence pursuant to a joint submission. The offender was convicted of conspiring to facilitate terrorism and participating in the activities of a terrorist group. Sher was acquitted. The offender, age 26 at the time of the offences and age 30 at the time of sentencing, had no prior convictions. The Crown sought a 20-year sentence. The defence sought a sentence of five to eight years. The offender was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment, less one year credit for time served. The sentence was comprised of five years for conspiracy, plus seven years' consecutive for participation. The Crown appealed and the offender cross-appealed, with each reiterating their respective positions taken at the initial sentencing. ... [read more]

Monday, February 13, 2017 @ 11:14 AM

SENTENCING - Homicide - Manslaughter - Sentencing considerations - Aggravating factors - Deterrence - Denunciation - Protection of the public - Submissions - Victim impact statements - Previous record - Lengthy

Sentencing of the offender, Vader, for two counts of manslaughter. The offender was a methamphetamine addict who killed an elderly married couple and stole their RV, an attached SUV, and the vehicle contents. The encounter occurred in a rural area off of a main highway. A firearm was discharged during the incident. The RV was burned in an effort to destroy evidence linking the offender to the victims. The victims' bodies were placed in an unknown location and remained undiscovered. The offender's trial for first degree murder resulted in manslaughter convictions, as it could not be established that the killings were planned and deliberate. The offender, age 38 at the time of the killings and age 44 at the time of sentencing, had a lengthy criminal record related to drug and property crimes. He refused to participate in pre-sentencing assessments, denied any drug use, and continued to maintain his innocence. The Crown sought a sentence of life imprisonment. Defence counsel argued in favour of a disposition of time served, reflecting a six-year sentence. In addition, the offender sought a stay of proceedings or reduction in sentence on the basis of an abuse of process, cruel and unusual conditions in pre-trial custody, interference with his consultations with counsel, and an unlawful strip search. ... [read more]

Monday, February 13, 2017 @ 11:09 AM

CRIMINAL CODE OFFENCES - Failure to provide necessaries of life - Criminal negligence - Causing death by criminal negligence

Trial of Lovett on charges of failing to provide the necessaries of life and criminal negligence causing the death of her 7-year-old son, Ryan. Lovett was a well-educated mother of two living in a low-rent apartment in poverty with Ryan. He stayed home from school with a cold early in February 2013. He returned to school and other activities a few days later, but an extended school absence preceded his death from septic shock on March 2. Lovett had been researching various ailments on the Internet in the weeks leading up to his death, including ear infections, swollen lymph nodes, and pus. She communicated to friends that Ryan needed constant care and that he had come down with every problem a child his age could have. Lovett used various home remedies on Ryan to address his symptoms. She claimed she gave him Advil for pain, but an autopsy revealed no Advil in his system. She first sought medical attention for Ryan on March 2, when he started vomiting, slurring his words and falling down. By the time emergency responders arrived, he was dead. The autopsy showed multiple organ failure. Doctors opined that Ryan would have exhibited many symptoms in the days prior to his death that should have been recognized as warranting medical intervention. Administration of antibiotics any time before Ryan’s final two days of life could have saved him. Lovett testified that she did not think Ryan was as sick as he was. She claimed she did not know he had an ear infection, although there was pus coming from his ear and the area around it had become darkened. She admitted that his eyes had turned yellow and that she was trying to treat him for jaundice with dandelion tea. She testified that visiting doctors was not part of her routine. Some neighbours who saw Ryan on the day before he died did not recognize how sick he was. One friend, Lapointe, did recognize how serious the situation was and tried to convince Lovett to take Ryan to the doctor, but acquiesced when Lovett became argumentative. There was some evidence from other friends that Lovett had used antibiotics in the past to treat a spider bite and when Ryan had an infected tooth. ... [read more]

Friday, February 10, 2017 @ 4:06 PM

New Court Challenges Program will bring expanded mandate

The federal government announced that it is bringing back and modernizing the Court Challenges program that was cancelled by the previous government. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 09, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

Sentencing - First degree murder - Particular sanctions - Young persons - Adult sentences - Test - Custody and supervision order - Sentencing considerations - Rehabilitation - Pre-sentence report - Previous record

Appeal by two young persons, TF and MW, from adult sentences imposed for first degree murder. In 2010, SB shot and killed the victim. TF and another individual were present when the shooting occurred. MW arrived at the scene shortly thereafter. All involved were 16 years of age. SB, TF and MW were each convicted of first degree murder. TF and MW were found to have participated in developing and implementing the plan to kill the victim. On sentencing, defence counsel argued in favour of a ten-year sentence within the Intensive Rehabilitative Custody Supervision (“IRCS”) program. The Crown obtained an order to have the appellants sentenced as adults. They each received adult sentences of life imprisonment without eligibility for parole for ten years. The appellants appealed their convictions and sentences. The Court directed the combined sentence appeal to proceed in advance of the conviction appeal. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 09, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

Criminal Law - Procedure - Trial judge’s duties - Assessing credibility of witnesses - Charge or directions - Defences - Evidence of witnesses

Not applicable ... [read more]

Thursday, February 09, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

Judge tells B.C. to alter prison procedures

Not applicable ... [read more]

Tuesday, February 07, 2017 @ 10:02 AM

SENTENCING - First degree murder - Particular sanctions - Young persons - Adult sentences - Test - Custody and supervision order - Sentencing considerations - Rehabilitation - Pre-sentence report - Previous record

Appeal by two young persons, TF and MW, from adult sentences imposed for first degree murder. In 2010, SB shot and killed the victim. TF and another individual were present when the shooting occurred. MW arrived at the scene shortly thereafter. All involved were 16 years of age. SB, TF and MW were each convicted of first degree murder. TF and MW were found to have participated in developing and implementing the plan to kill the victim. On sentencing, defence counsel argued in favour of a ten-year sentence within the Intensive Rehabilitative Custody Supervision ("IRCS") program. The Crown obtained an order to have the appellants sentenced as adults. They each received adult sentences of life imprisonment without eligibility for parole for ten years. The appellants appealed their convictions and sentences. The Court directed the combined sentence appeal to proceed in advance of the conviction appeal. ... [read more]