Law Times

October 19, 2015

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AG says it's working to fix errors in juror questionnaire ARE YOU RECEIVING CANADIAN LEGAL NEWSWIRE? Keep abreast of essential legal news, opinions and analysis with our electronic newswire. VISIT OUR WEBSITE WWW.LAWTIMESNEWS.COM SIGN UP FOR FREE From the publisher of and Untitled-4 1 2015-09-23 2:20 PM Cops chided for 'manipulative trickery' Court considers use of teen suspect's father as police agent BY SHANNON KARI For Law Times n Ontario Court judge has found the Dur- ham Regional Police Service engaged in an abuse of process by using an estranged father as a police agent to try to build a rapport with his teenaged son in the hopes of eliciting a confession in the beating death of a young relative. The conduct involved "particularly manipulative trick- ery," wrote Justice Susan MacLean in R. v. S.M. Even if po- lice never intended for the father to act in the way he did, "the misconduct must be treated as police misconduct," she wrote in the decision issued late last month. "This misconduct offends the community's sense of fair play and decency," she concluded. S.M. is awaiting sentencing following his conviction for manslaughter in July. But on Sept. 24, MacLean ruled in- tercepted statements made by S.M. to his father that were potentially incriminating to be inadmissible as a result of the conduct. But the judge declined to state that it would always be improper for police to use a parent as an agent in the in- vestigation of a young person. A request by the defence for special rules for police when using an agent to try to obtain evidence from an out-of-custody young person was a ques- tion better left for the appellate-level courts, the judge said. The unusual circumstances of the case have also high- lighted a potential gap in the Youth Criminal Justice Act when it comes to police using agents against young sus- pects who aren't in custody, says the lawyer who represents CAMPAIGN SURPRISE Niqab becomes a key issue in federal vote P7 FOCUS ON Insurance Law P8 'The manner in which the father pushed for information was so overbearing, it was found to be an abuse,' says Jason Rabinovitch. Photo: Robin Kuniski See Use, page 2 Julianna Greenspan would like to see simpler language in the juror questionnaires. PM #40762529 & $#&!&jmmm$cYa[bbWh$Yec ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 AM $5.00 • Vol. 26, No. 32 October 19, 2015 Follow LAW TIMES on www.twitter.com/lawtimes L AW TIMES A BY NEIL ETIENNE Law Times rrors in the standard form used since 2010 to determine juror eligibility has some lawyers concerned improperly chosen juries could shake public confi- dence in the justice system. The concern also has some lawyers calling for much simpler language as the best way to fix the problem even as the Ministry of the Attor- ney General says it's correcting the forms. "It creates a situation where you do have peo- ple filling out the forms saying they qualify for jury membership in good faith but, in fact, un- der the act they would not [qualify]," says crim- inal lawyer Scott Bergman of Cooper Sandler Shime & Bergman LLP. "That has the potential to undermine the public's confidence in the jury system and it raises questions about fairness of jury verdicts. It's a very legitimate concern." The province's juror eligibility forms pro- vide that for the most part, anyone with a crim- inal record isn't eligible for jury duty save a list of about 20 offences. That list includes several offences that the eligibility forms state are ac- ceptable for a candidate to still be able to serve as a juror. However, three of those listed accept- able offences do in fact bar potential candidates from serving, so people who have been correct- ly filling out the form since 2010 amendments to the Juries Act may have incorrectly served as jurors. Those amendments prohibited those convicted of hybrid offences from serving, but in the meantime, at least three of the offences listed as not automatically disqualifying some- one have become hybrid offences: impersonat- ing a police officer, committing an indecent act, and making indecent or repeated phone calls. MPP Randy Hillier, the Progressive Con- servative critic for the attorney general, says the errors and seeming lack of urgency to respond See Eligibility, page 2 E SYRIAN ASSISTANCE New program brings lawyers on board P4

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