Friday, April 22, 2011

Bar Ugliness

Grand Forks Court ... April 21, 2011
574 Day-Old File

   The Crown prosecution painted the picture this way: On the evening of June 26, 2009, a man in the Greenwood bar came up behind another sitting on a bar stool, clothes-lined him onto the floor and stomped repeatedly on his head.
   The accused told a different story: He was leaving the bar when he found his way blocked by three threatening individuals. Fearing for his life or severe bodily harm, he quickly pushed one man to floor, stepping on him with a kick as he made his exit.
   After an all day trial and a lengthy deliberation, the judge said she did not accept the accused’s testimony and declared him guilty.
   The judge then commenced with the sentencing procedure. It looked like accused man was about to receive conditional jail time along with various restrictions and impositions, but in the process the judge learned the man was Métis.
   She then stopped and said the man was entitled to a Gladue. A  Gladue refers to special consideration that judges must give an Aboriginal person when sentencing.
   The judge then ordered the Gladue report, as well as a pre-sentence report.
   During the trial, Constable Cumberland testified for the prosecution, as well as the bartender for that evening and the assaulted man. The accused acted as his own lawyer and called himself as his only witness.
   The lawyer he had before the trial began told him in the morning that he had no defence or chance to win his case and that he should accept a guilty plea-bargain. He felt abandoned and refused.
   The judge assisted the accused with his long defence, but frequently ruled his motions and evidence as irrelevant.
   The accused may appeal the guilty verdict.

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