07 June 2008

From the Supreme Court of Canada

Where someone is from would obviously affect how one applies the Charter.

Was that sarcasm clear enough for the proponents of the ghetto school of judicial appointments?

Still, here's a case for the legally mind that's worth noting:

The accused made an incriminating statement, after four hours of resistance, immediately after being confronted by the interrogating officer with a prior statement obtained from him in violation of his constitutional right to counsel. The trial judge admitted the latter statement and convicted the accused on three counts of sexual interference. The Court of Appeal upheld the convictions.

Held: The appeal should be allowed and a new trial ordered. The impugned statement should have been excluded pursuant to s. 24(2) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

A statement is tainted by an earlier breach of an accused’s constitutional
rights if the breach and the impugned statement can be said to be part of the same
transaction or course of conduct. Here, the required connection between the two
statements was direct and obvious. It was temporal, causal and, to some extent,
contextual. The interrogating officer concluded that he would not obtain the
incriminating admissions sought unless he confronted the accused with the latter’s
earlier inadmissible statement. He therefore proceeded to do so. In this way the
interrogating officer made use, knowingly and deliberately, of an earlier statement that the police themselves had obtained from the accused in a manner that infringed his Charter rights. This alone was sufficient to taint the subsequent statement and to cry out for its exclusion pursuant to s. 24(2) of the Charter. To hold otherwise would be to invite the perception that the police are legally entitled to reap the benefit of their own infringements of a suspect’s constitutional rights. And this would bring the administration of justice into disrepute.