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22 Apr 2014

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Lecture Notes Key Points
Lecture One Courts II
Bail and Remand
Most people are released on some form of bail
Crown can request for bail to be denied
Section 11(e) of the Charter states that any person charged with an offence has the right
not to be denied bail without reasonable cause
Pretrial remand:
oIndividuals are denied a release and remanded into custody through a warrant of
committal authorized by a JP or Judge
Plea Negotiations
Various forms of pleas that can be negotiated:
oPlead guilty to some offences to have other charges withdrawn
oPleading guilty for sentence considerations
oThe accused and Crown can negotiate over facts upon which a guilty plea will be
Why does the state engage in plea-bargaining?
oSpare witnesses the trauma or inconvenience of a trial
oReduce court time and costs
oUnreliable witnesses, lost evidence, etc
Why do innocent people plead guilty?
oTo spare families and loved ones the ordeal of a trial
oIf the offence is minor and the accused is being held in pre-trial detention, they
may feel under pressure to plead to avoid spending weeks or months in jail
oFeeling helpless and hopeless
oPressured unto accepting a deal by their lawyer
Legal defenses
Provocation partial defense wherein the accused admits committing the offence but
offers the excuse that they had lost control of themselves
oOnly permitted as a partial defense in cases involving murder
oWill result in reduction of a murder charge to manslaughter
NCMRDnot criminally responsible due to mental disorder
oIf found NCMRD, the individual will be sentences by the court or diverted to a
provincial review board which will assess him/her and sentence the offender to:
An absolute discharge
A conditional discharge
Detention in custody of a forensic psychiatric hospital
Film: A Crime of Insanity
Ralph Tortorici
oTook a classroom hostage with a knife and rifle
oDiagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic
oCouldn’t find a psychologist willing to testify for him
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Lecture Two Courts III
Wrongful convictions
Factors leading to wrongful convictions in the U.S. (Ron C. Huff, 2004)
oEyewitness error
oOverzealous law enforcement officers and prosecutors
oFalse or coerced confessions and suggestive interrogations
oMisleading line-ups
oThe inappropriate use of informants or ‘snitches’
oIneffective assistance of counsel
oCommunity pressure for a conviction
oForensic science errors, incompetence, and fraud
oThe ratification of error
Factors leading to wrongful convictions in Canada (Jerome Kennedy)
oPresumption of innocence has become the presumption of guilt
oPerjured testimony (co-accused and witnesses sometimes lie)
oEyewitness testimony
oFaulty forensic evidence/testimony
oProsecutorial misconduct
oIneffectiveness of counsel (inadequate legal counsel/biased judges, etc)
oJailhouse informants (use of informants testimony in exchange for money, other
rewards, lenient sentencing and/or release from custody)
oPolice misconduct
Famous Cases
Guy-Paul Morin wrongfully convicted of rape and murder
Donald Marshall, Jr aboriginal, wrongfully convicted of murder
Thomas Sophonow wrongfully convicted of murder causing Manitoba to revise their
policy about using prisoners in custody as informants
James Driskell charged with murder of his partner in crime, DNA fucked up
Anthony Hanemaayer plead guilty to get lesser sentence (filed 1.1 million dollar lawsuit
once acquitted)
Simon Marshall confessed to sex crimes he did not commit
William Mullins-Johnson wrongfully convicted of rape and murder, won 4.25 million in
Romeo Phillion confessed to crime, 31 years in prison, 5 years in parole
Kyle Unger sued for wrongful conviction
Film: Stephen Truscott Case
14 at time of trial
Convicted of rape and murder
Initially sentences to death later, received a life sentence
Maintained innocence till 2007 when he was proven innocent
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