One essay is describes the case against serial sex slayer Paul Bernardo, seen here in the back of a police car in April 1994.
Photo Credit: Frank Gunn/Canadian Press

Lawyers describe famous criminal cases in book

Some of Canada’s most riveting criminal cases are described by the lawyers who defended or prosecuted them in a book called Tough Crimes: True Cases by Top Canadian Criminal Lawyers.  

null
In Tough Crimes, lawyers describe the difficulties they faced in some of Canada’s most famous criminal cases. © Durance Vile Publications

Stories that ‘haunt’ lawyers

Among them are essays on the trials of serial sex killer Paul Bernardo, Robert Latimer who killed his severely disabled daughter, the case of the Walkerton water tragedy which claimed the lives of seven people and sickened 2,300, and the school shooting in Taber, Alberta. The collection includes accounts from one forensic psychiatrist and 19 lawyers.

“What they (the readers) can take from them is an understanding, possibly more, of what the criminal lawyer…in a very difficult case is up against in their own mind and what sort of things haunt them afterwards,” says Christopher Evans, lawyer and co-editor of the book along with Lorene Shyba.

ListenStories describe how criminal justice works in Canada

The cases were chosen for the emotional demands they made on the lawyers and “to inform readers” about the precepts of criminal justice in Canada, says Evans. He mentions the right of every accused person to a defence, the presumption of innocence, the burden of proof which remains on the prosecution, the concept of reasonable doubt and the importance of juries as triers of fact.

One essay outlines a case of wrongful conviction where the accused spent 20 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. This kind of situation has occurred several times in the Canadian justice system and some cases have made headline news.

“We feel that the publication of this book is important because our primary aim was to offer insights and wisdom from some of Canada’s most prominent criminal lawyers discussing the cases they actually conducted,” says Evans, “but also, to remind our readers of these immutable precepts of what we call our adversarial system of justice.”

Posted in Society

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*