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Lecture 7

SOC 3750 Lecture 7: Week 7 Trials and Evidence

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SOC 3750
Patrick Parnaby

SOC3730 Week 7 Trials Evidence Right to Speedy Trial Delays Most serious problem in court, especially in criminal cases (where someone could go to prison OR held in detention, which is problematic). Delay may result from: Causes Crown wanting to get the plea bargain, procedural (i.e. no court room or judge), issues with evidence (i.e. trying to get it to court), court cancellations Charter Rights: Sec 11 (b) (tried in reasonable time) Very important right to have with the right to trial R v. Askov (1990) o Charges Stayed o Did not go to court until 3 years after the charges were laid o Violated sec. 11 of speedy trial o Crown appealed the charges were stayed o Court dropped charges because it was too long after the charges were laid Social science (evidence) Peel has the lengthiest delays of North America Problems Witnesses forget or they disappear or they die. Victims suffer because they get no closure. Public can lose trust in the system. SCC (4 factors) **If defence tries to delay their hearing, their right to a speedy trial is no longer valid** o Length of Delay Time Limit Should be no more than other jurisdictions are allowing. The longer the delay, the more difficult for the court to proceed. Following in the footsteps of other jurisdictions. Reasons If delays are too long, the court must drop the charges o Explanation for the delay Crown institutional Crown incompetent? Not performing their job effectively? Could also be institutional delays. The Crown must show that the institutional delay is justified. The accused CANNOT delay their own hearing. Defendant Cannot delay own hearing o Waiver possibility Freely give Defendant must freely give away their right to delay hearing; allowed by SCC o Prejudice to the accused Damage If the delay is too long, it should be in favour of the accused. If the delay caused no damage to accused, the court can proceed with hearing. Impact Large amount of cases dropped because of delays that were too long Right to Speedy Trial Return to SCC R v. Morin (1992) time limit
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