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Lecture 3

CCRM308 - Week 3 The Crown.docx

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CRM 308
Enzo Rondonelli

CCRM308 – Week 3: The Players – the Crown - Crown Policy Manual – all Crowns are supposed to know and follow - There is a proposition that Crowns do not win or lose a case; they are quasi-State to present the facts to the jury. They are neutral; “Bouche standard” • Lawyers as hyper-competitive – can they really de-personalize the cases? • Sometimes prosecutors are so zealous that perhaps they fight for convictions even for innocent people (documentary) - High conviction rates means a lot of skill – very persuasive, confidence, excellent communication, forceful and strong trials, etc. - Starting point: “I’m a Crown, I don’t win or lose” - The Crown is the State, the jury will see you as having more authority while the defence is thought of as slippery; because of this, the law sets guidelines as to what the Crown can get away with vs what the defence can get away with - Some rules of evidence are tilted to the benefit of the doubt/defence to prevent wrongful convictions - Crowns, in sexual assault cases where complainant is related to the accused, they will ask the accuse to testify and ask them “do you find your ______ attractive” • “Yes” = convicted / “NO” = convicted • It seems either way that they will be convicted, but how is that question even relevant?? All questions the accused are asked have relevance to the case  It is NOT relevant, and furthermore, it is prejudicial. • Cases involving this particular question are now being re-tried because of the irrelevancy (Court of Appeal) - You cannot withhold evidence from the defence; disclosure obligations (not the same in the US) - Can the Crown suggest that because the accused had disclosure, they now have a perfect alibi for everything, since they had time to study the evidence? • Cases involving this question are also being re-tried (Court of Appeal) • Again, certain lines cannot be crossed by the Crown - Crown: Who are they usually dealing with? Victims and Police • Victims: This poses a higher level of pressure: younger victims, defenseless or helpless victims, violated sexually, emotionally, physically, cases with real damage, etc. that might make it harder to de-personalize cases  Ex: the mother of a murdered girl sends cards to the Crown who helped prosecute the killer • It is much easier to be detached and objective with victimless cases such as drugs, etc. • Police: Crowns have to work favourably with police and maintain good contact – they are your source of information and relationships are important down the road; police can also talk to your boss, etc.  They are supposed to be armslength  Police lay the charge, and the Crown should assess the case and decide whether they should go forward as a separate investigation  If charges are dropped by the complainant, the Crown at this point can choose whether or not to withdraw these charges, but they typically will let the charges stand • Ex: DOMESTICS: history of recanting, etc. • Overall: fairness to the public (public interest); to help people in ways other than  Impaired driving: changes in the law that came about m
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