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Broken Justice

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So the courts have released a murderer because of the colossal incompetence of the judicial system in bringing him to trial. He's been waiting trial for 56 months now, four and a half years, for he brutal slaughter of his wife, but now he can walk free. Why did it take so long? Why was a man in jail for 56 damn months without getting a damn trial?

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/montreal-man-wont-be-tried-for-his-wifes-death-because-its-taken-too-long-to-bring-the-case-to-trial

And why has nobody done anything about this problem? Let me quote from myself on this subject back in 2008

The real problem which the supporters of the legal system refuse to acknowledge is that the system is already broken. It should not take a year to hold a trial for a common crime with mountains of evidence. Most simple crimes should be disposed of within days of arrest. Justice should be swift and certain. In our case it is neither. When "the rule of law" perpetrates injustice then there is something wrong and needs addressing. It isn't mere emotionalism or thirst for vengeance. The law should, at its core, address the fundamental justice of a case. Instead it addresses often ideologically based interpretations of the language in laws without regard to the justice of a finding.

We have a tremendously expensive legal process which wastes massive amounts of time on trivially important things, and is peopled by people who, often enough are rewarded for delaying things. Certainly none is punished for doing so. 

You know what two precious days of court time were being used for in Ottawa last week? For the taxpayer funded defense lawyer of a Somali kidnapper to plead a constitutional case that the phone calls he made from Somalia to a Canadian journalist's family demanding ransom should not have been listened to or recorded by the government without warrants. Seriously! He is suggesting that Somali criminals, and presumably any other criminals and terrorists around the world, should have their privacy protected by the Charter of Rights. And we're paying for this in terms of his salary, the costs of the court and its employees, and the salary of the Crown. 

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/somali-kidnapper-had-no-right-to-expect-ransom-demands-were-private-crown

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You take away from your case when you bring up a single extreme example that involved a Somali.  

We talked about this awhile ago and some posters with knowledge talked about impaired driving being a factor.  Let's start out first by identifying that there is indeed a problem (and an accused murdering being released is enough evidence for me) then put our minds to determining what the root causes are.

This problem is not about your dislike of immigration, so do us all a favour and don't conflate those issues.  Unless of course you have some evidence that Somalis are destroying our court system.

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9 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

You take away from your case when you bring up a single extreme example that involved a Somali.  

No, I do not. You're simply uber-sensitive to any sort of posting which can be construed as critical of someone who is a member of a protected group. Would you care if the example was of a blonde Swedish guy?

The primary example is that of a murderer in jail for 56 months awaiting trial (who, BTW, IS an immigrant, but I didn't bother to mention it since I didn't think it relevant). The Somali guy is an example of how courts waste their time on ridiculous and outrageous arguments.

Quote

This problem is not about your dislike of immigration, so do us all a favour and don't conflate those issues.  Unless of course you have some evidence that Somalis are destroying our court system.

I didn't say a bloody word about immigration. You didn't bother to read the cite but are jerking your knee in frantic defense of someone you consider you must rush forward to protect due to his color. He is a Somalian, not a Somali. Do you understand the difference? He had never been to Canada. He is and was not an immigrant. The RCMP lured him to Canada by pretending to be journalists wanting to do a story on him, then arrested him. He was living in Somalia when he participated in the kidnapping of a Canadian journalist IN SOMALIA. He then made ransom calls to Canada, which the RCMP recorded. It is flabbergasting that we are wasting court time on this absurd suggestion he should have had his privacy protected, but his government paid lawyer gets paid by the hour and has no interest whatsoever in speeding things along.

Edited by Argus

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If your example was a blonde Swedish guy then it would be equally ridiculous.

The way you handle problems is: you assess that there is indeed a problem, you collect information, you propose and try solutions.

Swedes and Somali have nothing to do with our justice problem... You implied that they were with your example.  

It's not my fault that you muddy your arguments by bringing your despised foreign menace into it.  Improve your communication and don't shoot the messenger.

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12 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

If your example was a blonde Swedish guy then it would be equally ridiculous.

The way you handle problems is: you assess that there is indeed a problem, you collect information, you propose and try solutions.

Swedes and Somali have nothing to do with our justice problem... You implied that they were with your example.  

It's not my fault that you muddy your arguments by bringing your despised foreign menace into it.  Improve your communication and don't shoot the messenger.

My message was clear. You didn't bother to read the cites. Don't blame me because of your laziness and  knee-jerk reaction to my posting a court case which involved a foreigner. It was a major news thing in Ottawa this week. The waste and stupidity of it was what caused me to post it, not that it was a somalian. You ignored that entirely in your indignation that I was saying something which might have portrayed a person who wasn't White and Christian in an unflattering manner.

Edited by Argus

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Fortunateley or not, every person charged with a crime in Canada is entitled to due process.  It is up to the judge conducting the trial-not the Somali defendants lawyer- to determine how much time is invested in considering the applicability or admissibility  of such evidence.

 

I don't think the process if broken, but we do have some shitty judges.

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I think our legal eagles have taken the Charter of Rights and made a complete mess of our system. Anyone who follows the news, knows that this is not an isolated incident and it is getting more and more common.


An example would be charges of assault and property damage arising from riots. In the UK, many of these are routinely dealt with by the courts in a matter of weeks. The charges laid during the 2011 Stanley Cup riot in Vancouver took years to make their way through the courts. I very much doubt our system is any more "just" as a result. Probably less.

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2 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

Why did you point out that it involved a foreigner ?  Was it germane to the case or not ?

Because of the sheer absurdity of allowing a foreigner who is in a foreign country to make the claim that the Charter of rights ought to apply to his long-distant ransom calls to Canada. And the fact we are paying to have that idiotic claim presented and heard.

If he was not a foreigner in another country then of course the lack of warrant would be an issue that should be discussed. But he was.

Edited by Argus

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15 minutes ago, Wilber said:

I think our legal eagles have taken the Charter of Rights and made a complete mess of our system. Anyone who follows the news, knows that this is not an isolated incident and it is getting more and more common.


An example would be charges of assault and property damage arising from riots. In the UK, many of these are routinely dealt with by the courts in a matter of weeks. The charges laid during the 2011 Stanley Cup riot in Vancouver took years to make their way through the courts. I very much doubt our system is any more "just" as a result. Probably less.

Almost certainly less, and a lot more costly. Lawyers charge by the hour, you know. I wonder what the UK Crowns would say if you told them they would henceforth be required to bring a case to trial within three years. Laugh, I'm guessing. Came across this. It's hardly complete but it suggest the average time between laying charges and the resolution of a case in the UK is 10 weeks. http://open.justice.gov.uk/courts/criminal-cases/

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Argus wrote, "So the courts have released a murderer because of the colossal incompetence of the judicial system in bringing him to trial. He's been waiting trial for 56 months now, four and a half years, for he brutal slaughter of his wife, but now he can walk free. "

From your opening statement, it appears the this person was charged, but not convicted. Therefore, he is innocent unless proven guilty by the court. In other words, an innocent man has spent almost five years in custody. I remember the court case of a nurse accused of murdering a number of children at Sick Childrens Hospital. We all knew she was guilty...that is until it was pointed out that she was not even in the Province at the time of at lease two of the murders. She was exonerated. I don't know about you, but should I ever be charged with a crime, I would like to be presumed innocent unless proven guilty in court.

 

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Wait a minute...this guy has already spent more time in jail waiting for trial than any prison sentence he would have received for the crime in Hug-A-Thug® Canada.

Case dismissed !

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4 hours ago, Queenmandy85 said:

Argus wrote, "So the courts have released a murderer because of the colossal incompetence of the judicial system in bringing him to trial. He's been waiting trial for 56 months now, four and a half years, for he brutal slaughter of his wife, but now he can walk free. "

From your opening statement, it appears the this person was charged, but not convicted. Therefore, he is innocent unless proven guilty by the court. In other words, an innocent man has spent almost five years in custody. I remember the court case of a nurse accused of murdering a number of children at Sick Childrens Hospital. We all knew she was guilty...that is until it was pointed out that she was not even in the Province at the time of at lease two of the murders. She was exonerated. I don't know about you, but should I ever be charged with a crime, I would like to be presumed innocent unless proven guilty in court.

 

The issue is why does it take 5 years to bring someone to trial in Canada, not that is OK for someone to spend 5 years in jail without bing convicted. That's a given.

Edited by Wilber

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It takes that long because of under-funding of the court system. Voters hate paying taxes. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die to get there. 

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15 hours ago, Argus said:

Because of the sheer absurdity of allowing a foreigner who is in a foreign country to make the claim that the Charter of rights ought to apply to his long-distant ransom calls to Canada. And the fact we are paying to have that idiotic claim presented and heard.

If he was not a foreigner in another country then of course the lack of warrant would be an issue that should be discussed. But he was.

Ok but...

That is one example, not the cause of the problem.  You highlight the symptom enough with the example of the accused murderer.

If you frame your argument more clearly you will get more people engaged.

Secondly, how would you fix the system to eliminate constitutional challenges?  I'm sure the Federal Liberals would be glad to appoint an overseer to dismiss claims they deem unworthy of court time.  Ok with you?

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7 hours ago, Queenmandy85 said:

It takes that long because of under-funding of the court system. Voters hate paying taxes. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die to get there. 

That's part of it but how much more money are you willing to spend on a systen that just keeps making itself more complicared.

Edited by Wilber

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13 hours ago, Queenmandy85 said:

Argus wrote, "So the courts have released a murderer because of the colossal incompetence of the judicial system in bringing him to trial. He's been waiting trial for 56 months now, four and a half years, for he brutal slaughter of his wife, but now he can walk free. "

From your opening statement, it appears the this person was charged, but not convicted. Therefore, he is innocent unless proven guilty by the court. In other words, an innocent man has spent almost five years in custody.

Granted, but the point remains the same in either case. It should not take 56 months to conclude a case - any case. It should not even take five months.

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8 hours ago, Queenmandy85 said:

It takes that long because of under-funding of the court system. Voters hate paying taxes. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die to get there. 

I hear that a lot and I wonder how true it is. How much do we spend vs the British? Is is underfunded compared to other nations, or is it just far more complicated and dysfunctional? The cost given here is $11 billion. I haven't been able to find any costs for the uk system.

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The thing is you cant structure reforms against around out-liers. No matter what changes we made there will still be anomalous cases that caused outrage.

The key to evaluating our system is to look at the results, and compare them with those of our piers. The reality is murder is declining and our homicide rates are pretty low.

Declaring a system "broken" because of an anomalous result is something even a student in grade six should no better than. Its basic analytics.

 

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2 hours ago, dre said:

The thing is you cant structure reforms against around out-liers. No matter what changes we made there will still be anomalous cases that caused outrage.

The key to evaluating our system is to look at the results, and compare them with those of our piers. The reality is murder is declining and our homicide rates are pretty low.

Declaring a system "broken" because of an anomalous result is something even a student in grade six should no better than. Its basic analytics.

It's not an anomaly. If it was, the SC would not have had to make a ruling saying that cases that drag on past three years without coming to trial will be a violation of Charter rights. This is hardly the first case we've seen dropped because of that, nor even the first murder. The media have been suggesting thousands of cases could be dropped. And if the UK can, on average, handle cases within 10 weeks of charge I fail to see how the hell we need an SC order to keep them from dragging on past three years.

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A man high on drugs killed a couple six months ago in a car crash. He has been charged with multiple offenses. Today, six months after the crash, the date for his preliminary hearing has been set. For July. NEXT July. Yes, fifteen months after he was charged, he'll get a preliminary hearing. That's just the preliminary, mind you. His actual trial will probably be a year or so later, maybe more. That's assuming there are no complications, and that the charges aren't dropped because his rights have been violated due to the trial taking so long.

As a reminder, the average time to complete a case in the UK is 10 weeks from charge to sentence.

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/driver-allegedly-impaired-by-fentanyl-other-drugs-when-renfrew-couple-killed-in-crash

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Here's an astonishing story from the UK. A man has been sentenced to three months for opening a body bag containing one of the victims in the Grenfell fire, taking a picture, and posting it on line. Remember that the fire only happened Wednesday. And he was sentenced on FRIDAY! 

http://metro.co.uk/2017/06/16/man-jailed-for-opening-body-bag-and-taking-picture-of-grenfell-tower-victim-6714707/#ixzz4kGyvJJ57

Meanwhile, in Canada, on the same day, the Supreme Court reaffirmed it's decision that court cases in Canada take too long by throwing out the case of a drug dealer who had waited five years for his case to come to trial.

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/right-to-a-timely-trial-cannot-be-lightly-discarded-or-overruled-supreme-court-rules

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On ‎2017‎-‎04‎-‎09 at 0:03 PM, Michael Hardner said:

You take away from your case when you bring up a single extreme example that involved a Somali.  

We talked about this awhile ago and some posters with knowledge talked about impaired driving being a factor.  Let's start out first by identifying that there is indeed a problem (and an accused murdering being released is enough evidence for me) then put our minds to determining what the root causes are.

This problem is not about your dislike of immigration, so do us all a favour and don't conflate those issues.  Unless of course you have some evidence that Somalis are destroying our court system.

With due respect Argus didn't make the accused being a Somali a key to his defence the accused did. The accused played the Somali race card not Argus and so it is legitimate grounds to challenge that defence-its directly on point to the defence that got him released.

It is true on some other posts some of us might say things with strong biases-we all do of course, but on this one with due respect I think your accusation this is just a pretext for attacking immigration is off base.

Back to the topic and I mentioned it once before. When I got my Master's in law  a few years back I was fortunate to meet Prof. Hogg. He took a shining to me I have no idea why-but he's a very up front scholar and he told me if he had to do it all over again, he and Trudeau would have never created the Charter of Rights as it exists now-he didn't mean it in a negative sense just in the sense that they  did not envision it was going to be used as it is now, i.e., by the Supreme Court of Canada who say they must use it in as WIDE an application as possible in favour of the individual  on each scenario that comes up, i.e, they must err on the side of the individual and whenever possible try apply it to the individual's rights..

Hogg and Trudeay never envisioned it being used as widely as it is now in so many criminal cases including the landmark case which says if you don't get a case to trial within a certain time and the delay is NOT caused by the defendant, he can walk.

That's the real issue. We have criminals walking all the time on this argument. Its the real subject of this thread.

What I say is no secret. I doubt any constitutional lawyer envisioned theCharter arguments being used and allowed in such volume as they are today.

I am not sure what to tell you. If people stay in jail too long without trial that is fundamentally against basic democratic principles of freedom. On the other hand if our politicians are underfunding our legal systems causing this delay, we have to look at that.

Our current Justice Minister has supposedly appointed 77 more Judges when asked what she has done to deal with the back logs but with due respect to her because she did not create the problem she just inherited it, our entire criminal legal system has collapsed like dominoes from the sheer strain of case load. 90%  of criminal cases are plea bargained.

I can't tell you the no. of innocent people who get convicted or vice versa. From the cases I have done I just can't tell you. I have had genuinely innocent clients get unfair sentences but I've seen some sob's walk. The system is so huge it seems chaotic but in the courts I am in they have tried their best to manage the huge loads with management methods to keep things moving. I think while I have seen things I think unfair and incompetent, I have also seen things  equally fair and competent. My honest answer to you would be we have an imperfect legal system and it can suck some days but its the best we have, it does work albeit slowly, and for the most part the defence lawyers, crown lawyers, Judges, police, social workers, law support staff they are trying their best with soaring case loads.

I am not sure what the formula would b e to make things faster. The inherent nature of disputes is if you rush the decision making apparatus when considering them, the more an injustice could arise. That need to be careful and thorough can and does slow things down..

Edited by Rue
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On ‎2017‎-‎04‎-‎10 at 10:23 AM, Argus said:

Granted, but the point remains the same in either case. It should not take 56 months to conclude a case - any case. It should not even take five months.

The way the law is now with the Charter, if the delays are caused by the Defence the time line limit argument ignores the weeks the Defence causes the delay.

As well the time delay is from the date of arrest to the date the trial starts. Once it starts, the actual length of the trial is not considered in the time length test.

You can still use a habeas corpus writ to get someone out of  jail who is not brought to court for a bail hearing within 3 days. Its rare to see that delay unless its because the accused is waiting for a lawyer. Today if you go to bail hearings most people in jail wait there a week or sometimes 2 until they get a private  lawyer. If they want a legal aid lawyer its faster but its problematic. Once the bail is heard it can take weeks to get full disclosures, then the pre-trial negotiations begin and that can drag on. I  find most Crown are too busy to deliberately drag the things out-its their file load causing it. As a defence lawyer I want an asap response and plea but sometimes you wait. If your case Is of a minor nature and your Crown is handling a heavy case you have to show some deference to their file load. I have dealt with very prepared Crown and some real nasty ones. Each one has a personality just like Defence lawyers. I do few criminal cases and mostly restorative justice ones putting people in restorative justice programs on first time offences. I was on the other side as well, so there are certain cases I just won't do. I can't and won't represent sex assault accused or pedophiles. Mentally I could not do it. I saw too much from he other side to do that. I think I do t he defence work I do now to compensate for guilt of thinking I may have put some innocent people away. I probably have not but it always is on your mind. Its also on your mind when your own client is a lying scum bucket and you have to represent them as best you can. Luckily I don't have that problem. I used to hate lawyers and the system and blame myself for many things. As I got older, I realize the system is imperfect and some of us have tried hard but the system yah Argus its got its problems we need to fix and length of delay is a big one. Its all I can say. I wish I had a solution. I don't want the bad going free or the good being caught in jail. No one does.

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