Trial

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Focusing On Sexual Assault Victims Helps A Perpetrator Disappear

Many assumptions have been made about the contact that all three complainants initiated with Jian Ghomeshi following their alleged assaults, which they neglected to mention to the police or the Crown. Henein, Ghomeshi's counsel, has implied that this means the victims were never assaulted, a suggestion which both women deny. In sexual assault trials, evidence is often brought forth of victims communicating with the perpetrator or making statements that seem to downplay what went on. Such actions are in fact consistent with how victims often rationalize what was done to them.
CP

The Jian Ghomeshi Trial: Understanding The Burden Of Proof

The criminal trial is concerned with determining whether a trier of fact (either a judge or jury) can be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt of an accused's guilt as charged. The beyond a reasonable doubt standard is intended to avoid wrongful convictions and is related to the fundamental tenet of the criminal justice system: the presumption of innocence. The defence is required to do nothing. It is not required to call any evidence whatsoever. The burden remains on the Crown to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. However, a prudent defence lawyer would do all that was within his/her power raise a reasonable doubt.
CP

Nigel Wright's Testimony Is Insulting to Canadians

Nigel Wright didn't have a personal obligation to pay Duffy's debts, as he proclaimed. His personal obligation was to serve Canada and to maintain the integrity of its political institutions. We should be repelled by any notion that we should admire -- and excuse -- an incredibly rich individual who goes into public service and then uses his private financial resources to make political problems (and possibly crimes) disappear.
Getty

Guns and Gems: The True Cost of Your Diamonds

If you knew that [Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front] were coming, or if you even heard a rumour that the RUF were on their way, knowing that they cut the hands and feet off babies, you wouldn't hang around very long. And it worked -- it was very successful. It helped them clear the diamond fields, and they could dig diamonds to their heart's content. There are 1.5-million artisanal diamond diggers in Africa -- they produce about 16 per cent of the world's diamonds. So there's a good chance that 16 per cent of the diamonds in any store are part of that problem.

Six Degrees From Steven Truscott

As a child, I scanned the shelves of the library until I finally found The Trial of Steven Truscott, by Isobel LeBourdais. I was fascinated with this young boy's tragic life and prepared my class report. "I think Steven is innocent," I declared in front of the class.

What is the True Measure of a Man?

One of my childhoods was happy. The B&W movies projected on our small TV screen, more often than not, contradicted the drama I was living in my own home movie reels. But there were exceptions. In fact, the images of our television's B&W movies were very real to me. Sidney Poitier was one of those images, and thankfully, he made repeat appearances.

Cops Who Lie -- Can You Believe it?

Do bears answer the call of nature in the woods? Are telemarketers annoying? Do police officers lie in court?The answer to each question is an overwhelming YES. Those officers who believe that that the justice system is a game to be won at all costs are simply missing the point. I am happy to report, however, that the days of complete immunity for police officers who play Pinocchio in open court may be over.