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Archive For Entries On Criminal Procedure

Breaking New ‘Tertiary’ Ground? Marco Muzzo in the Shadow of St. Cloud

By now we have all heard the story of three children and their grandfather killed in a car accident in Vaughan, ON on September 27th due to the actions of an alleged drunk driver. The heart wrenching public statements made by a father who must bury all of his children and a mother who lost both […]

Youth Sentencing and The Death of Officer Garrett Styles: Punishing with a Cause?

Within a few weeks, Ontario Superior Court Justice Alex Sosna will deliver his sentence in one of the most prolonged and closely watched youth offender cases in Canadian history. He will have to decide the appropriate punishment for a now 19-year-old whose actions led to the death of a York Regional Police constable over four […]

Rogue Juror? R v Pannu and Protecting Jury Deliberation

The film 12 Angry Men is a classic representation of the diverse personalities that come together on a jury and the challenges of reaching a consensus. In it, we see how group dynamics constantly evolve as the jury struggles to meet their obligation of delivering a sound verdict. Last week, the Court of Appeal for […]

R v Crevier: Police Informants and the Balancing Act of Challenging Warrants

Police representatives often speak about the difficulties of soliciting information from the public about crimes that have taken place. Fear and a “don’t snitch” culture are common explanations for why this problem exists. In 2009, Kenneth Mark was gunned down after testifying as a witness in an attempted murder trial. His tragic story is a […]

A Exclusive Interview: R v Spencer One Year Later

A New Hurdle To Protecting Our Children? A Perspective from the Toronto Police Internet Child Exploitation Unit Last year, published two key articles about the Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark ruling on Internet privacy. See Jordan Casey’s summary here and Stuart Wood’s analysis here. After its release, R v Spencer, [2014] 2 SCR 212 [Spencer] […]

R v Rodgerson: How to Instruct a Jury on Post-Offence Conduct

The Facts In 2008, Jason Rodgerson met Amber Young at a bar in Oshawa. According to Rodgerson, after consuming alcohol and ecstasy together, he and Young engaged in consensual sex at his home. Rodgerson then lost interest in Young and wanted to return to the bar. Tensions escalated when Young asked to be compensated for […]

A Prosecution “Littered With Errors”: Drugs and Guns in R v Shia

In R v Shia, 2015 ONCA 190 [Shia], the Court of Appeal for Ontario considered an appeal from a finding of guilt and an absolute discharge from a drug-related offence. Interestingly, the prosecution included a number of errors, with some attributable to every party involved, including the presiding justice. In a short and incisive decision, the Court […]

Any Jury Inquiry Must Both Be Fair and Appear to Be Fair: R v Kum

The sanctity of the jury process must be maintained, said the Ontario Court of Appeal in a January decision. As well, an accused should not be deprived of the common law right to be tried by twelve people unless there are serious reasons for discharging jurors. In R v Kum, 2015 ONCA 36, the appellant […]

In Juries We Trust: R v Magno

The Ontario Court of Appeal (“Court of Appeal”) decision in R v Magno, 2015 ONCA 111 [Magno], affirmed the law surrounding judges’ Vetrovec warnings in cases where co-conspirators serve as both witnesses against an accused and as independent corroboration for one another’s testimony.  The appellant (“Magno”) appealed from trial convictions on charges of conspiracy, arson […]

Revisiting “Mr. Big” Confessions: R v Mack 

In R v Hart, 2014 SCC 52 [Hart], the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) set out a new framework for the admissibility of confessions elicited during “Mr. Big” operations. (I wrote about the decision in a previous post.) In this post, I will look at the companion decision in R v Mack, 2014 SCC 58 […]