appeal Archives - LCP Criminal Lawyers

Tag Archives: appeal

POLICE SURVEILLANCE POWERS IN THE ERA OF CONDO LIVING

by Eva Taché-Green

A quick glance at the changing skyline of Toronto says a lot about the increasing popularity of condominiums. Condo living means cutting back on square footage and swapping big backyards for sweeping views and access to amenities. But according to recent case law in Ontario, it also means giving up our right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure by the police.
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JUDICIAL ACCOUNTABILITY VS. JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE: CONTRASTING APPROACHES IN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES

by Alexander Ostroff

Last week, in California, a judge was removed from office after voters elected to recall him in the aftermath of a high profile sexual assault trial.1. In that trial, the accused was convicted and the judge imposed a sentence that fell within the lawful exercise of his discretion, but there was widespread public opinion that the sentence was overly lenient. Shortly after the trial, California law was changed to increase the mandatory minimum sentence for that charge. After members of the public filed complaints, an independent state agency in California with the power to discipline and remove judges from office conducted an investigation and released a report, in which they did not find that there had been judicial misconduct. However, in California, trial judges are elected, and can be removed from office as the result of a public recall vote. The impact of this highly-visible and unpopular decision affected the public enough for a successful electoral campaign to have the judge removed before the end of his term. This case raises interesting questions about judicial accountability and judicial independence and is an interesting contrast to the different balance that is struck between these important values in the Canadian legal system.

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THE CASE AGAINST USING RAP LYRICS AS EVIDENCE OF GUILT

by Lance Beechener

In Canada, prosecutors are increasingly relying upon an accused person’s artistic creations, frequently in the form of rap music, to establish guilt.1. This subject has attracted significant academic commentary both in Canada and in the United States, as well as considerable judicial attention in the U.S. The issue received its most recent and meaningful Canadian appellate treatment in the recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in R. v. Skeete, 2017 ONCA 926.

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LUKIS ANDERSON: ALMOST WRONGLY CONVICTED BY HIS OWN DNA

by Gabriel Gross-Stein

On November 29, 2012, Raveesh Kumar was killed during the robbery of his California home. He was tied up and gagged by the robbers, and suffocated because the duct tape covered his nose and mouth. Three weeks later, Lukis Anderson was charged with the murder. His DNA had been found underneath Kumar’s fingernails.
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IS MICHAEL KASSA A MURDERER OR DID POLICE GET THE WRONG GUY?

by Catriona Verner

On January 4, 2005 Sonia Gaudet was strangled and her body was set on fire in her own apartment. Michael Kassa, a platonic friend of Sonia’s, was charged with her murder a year and a half after the offence and, based on what has since been shown to be flimsy evidence, he was convicted. This is the history of his case.
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THE NEW ADMISSIBILITY CALCULUS FOR BREATH TEST RESULTS OBTAINED IN VIOLATION OF THE CHARTER: R. V. JENNINGS

by Richard Posner

A police officer who reasonably suspects that a person is operating a motor vehicle with alcohol in his or her body may, by demand made forthwith, require that person to provide a suitable sample of breath into an approved screening device, known as an “ASD”. These devices are approved by Parliament and are the subject of important guidelines established by Ontario’s Centre of Forensic Sciences and the Alcohol Test Committee (see: https://www.csfs.ca/what-we-do/csfs-committees/atc-alcohol-test-committee/). With proper training and experience, the ASD is a relatively simple device to use, and its results are generally reliable.
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APPEALING SENTENCE

by Eva Taché-Green

Anyone charged with a criminal offence knows there is a risk they will be convicted. In 2016, for example, 64% of criminal cases in Canada ended in a finding of guilt.1 On the other hand, anyone who has been convicted of a criminal offence knows with absolute certainty that they will be sentenced in some way. Although less than half of the sentences imposed in Canada include a period of incarceration,2 other sanctions, such as fines, driving prohibitions, and probation, can have serious consequences for an offender. Long after the drama of the trial fades away, the sting of the sentence lingers, particularly where the sentence imposed feels unfair. It is understandable that an offender in this situation may want to launch a sentence appeal.
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THE IMPORTANCE OF THE TRIAL JUDGE’S REASONS FOR JUDGMENT IN CRIMINAL CASES

by Alexander Ostroff

In criminal trials heard by a judge alone, sitting without a jury, the reasons provided for his or her decision are particularly important. The Supreme Court has held that the trial judge has a duty to give reasons in non-jury criminal trials.
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DRUG RECOGNITION EVALUATION AND IMPAIRED DRIVING

by Alexandra Mamo

In anticipation of the upcoming legalization of marihuana, the government is ensuring that police officers become more skilled in identifying drivers who are impaired by drugs on Ontario’s highways.

The law currently allows police officers to go through three steps to determine if someone is driving while impaired.
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