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Old 02-21-2017, 04:03 PM   #921
Frequitude
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To MBates and other defense lawyers,

Could you shed some light on lower sentences for convicted murderers? Why are they right and how do you justify trying for those when the client is in fact a murderer?

A lot of the talk defending defense lawyers in this thread has centered around the two extremes (ensuring a clearly guilty person who got the max punishment is given a fair unappealable trial like Garland, and ensuring an innocent person doesn't get convicted like Milgaard). However my speculation is that the animosity from some in this thread is coming from those who had someone close to them murdered where the accused got off with a perceived light punishment (e.g. the referenced 5 years).
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Old 02-21-2017, 04:49 PM   #922
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Originally Posted by The Familia View Post
To re-state for those mentally incapable of reading, my comment was about Der specifically and was based on my experiences of the man. Am I not allowed to pass judgement on someone based on what I have seen, heard and experienced myself? People do this every second of every day including all of you. No one is liked by the entire world. So get off your high horse DiontheDman. I'm not the only guy in this city that dislikes that man. Get over it. I'm sure Der doesn't give a #### what I think of him just like how I don't give a #### what anyone on here thinks of me. Oh And I stand by my comment, I think he is a scummy lawyer.
You are certainly allowed to pass judgment. But, as noted, when you choose to do so in a public forum, the public can pass judgment right back. And we all see you throwing a temper tantrum in the direction of someone who's greatest 'crime', it appears, was to defend the killer of someone you knew. Certainly you have failed to actually support your claim with any kind of argument. It is rather obvious that you still have some dramatic emotional issues stemming from the death of your acquaintance. For myself, I hope you someday manage to find peace.
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Old 02-21-2017, 04:50 PM   #923
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I would not expect the crown to deal down to manslaughter on any murder case where they were very confident in conviction at 2nd degree.
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Old 02-21-2017, 04:57 PM   #924
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I would think that the reason they deal down is because they can't meet the burden of proof required for the charge.
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Old 02-21-2017, 05:14 PM   #925
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Defence lawyers, good ones, are the type that might strike a nerve when they're defending someone you can't imagine a shred of innocence in. They don't have an enviable job. People blame them for light sentences that are actually caused by a lack of evidence or by mistakes from the prosecution.

It's important to remember though: the same defence lawyer that take someone who is "obviously" guilty and defends them to the lightest sentence possible? That's the person you want out there the most. That's the person you want defending every wrongly accused person out there. That's the person you'd want defending you.

The defence lawyers, the "scummy" ones that a few people hate, are the ones the system needs the most and the ones that people should be incredibly thankful for.

People who are connected to murder victims often want revenge, not justice. Revenge is getting the worst punishment possible, justice is getting the right one.
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Old 02-21-2017, 05:21 PM   #926
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Here is an example of a plea deal resulting in a lenient sentence, albeit in North Carolina. I was a roommate with this guy for 6 months way back in my younger years, I was fresh out of law school and he was an up and coming computer network guy at a blue chip O&G. We both wanted to live close to our offices due to heavy work schedules.

Our roommate time was short at 6 months (he was devious I thought), and a few years later,... he marries a girl, they move to North Carolina, have two kids, and then the relationship sours and he kills her. He was convicted of murder one and received life in prison without parole, and then won his appeal, and then while facing a second trial took a plea deal, and he'll be out and about by about 2021, extradited to Canada.

Because it involved a person I know, a former roommate, I was glued to this trial. It was broadcast live over the internet.

There were flaws in the trial relating to technical evidence. The defence wanted to present an expert to debunk the evidence that the assailant had google mapped and zoomed in to the very spot his wife's body was eventually found, before she went missing. The judge did not allow the evidence. The judge was admittedly not technically inclined.

The court of appeal ruled the evidence should have been allowed to dispute whether the evidence from the hard drive showing the google maps search was reliable.

I've read the ruling in full and while the "expert" was in my view not reliable, his evidence probably should have been put to the test and let the jury decide after it is questioned by both sides.

The end result was before the second trial, the family was in agreement with a plea deal instead of a second trial. The assailant agreed to forever give up parental rights to the 2 children as part of the deal. He'll spend all told about 12 years in prison, maybe more, then come back to Canada around age 50.

I think he got off light, but his own life is also ruined. He's lost his children, will never have the wealth he coveted, and will forever be known as someone who killed his wife.

The CBC story:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...wife-1.2773992

And the Dateline NBC show: http://www.nbcnews.com/video/dateline/44208320

I was not happy about the plea deal but the family of the victim were quite accepting of the result, it appears. Sometimes the deal is better than the chance of not having any conviction.

Last edited by Delgar; 02-21-2017 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 02-21-2017, 05:58 PM   #927
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delgar View Post
Here is an example of a plea deal resulting in a lenient sentence, albeit in North Carolina. I was a roommate with this guy for 6 months way back in my younger years, I was fresh out of law school and he was an up and coming computer network guy at a blue chip O&G. We both wanted to live close to our offices due to heavy work schedules.

Our roommate time was short at 6 months (he was devious I thought), and a few years later,... he marries a girl, they move to North Carolina, have two kids, and then the relationship sours and he kills her. He was convicted of murder one and received life in prison without parole, and then won his appeal, and then while facing a second trial took a plea deal, and he'll be out and about by about 2021, extradited to Canada.

Because it involved a person I know, a former roommate, I was glued to this trial. It was broadcast live over the internet.

There were flaws in the trial relating to technical evidence. The defence wanted to present an expert to debunk the evidence that the assailant had google mapped and zoomed in to the very spot his wife's body was eventually found, before she went missing. The judge did not allow the evidence. The judge was admittedly not technically inclined.

The court of appeal ruled the evidence should have been allowed to dispute whether the evidence from the hard drive showing the google maps search was reliable.

I've read the ruling in full and while the "expert" was in my view not reliable, his evidence probably should have been put to the test and let the jury decide after it is questioned by both sides.

The end result was before the second trial, the family was in agreement with a plea deal instead of a second trial. The assailant agreed to forever give up parental rights to the 2 children as part of the deal. He'll spend all told about 12 years in prison, maybe more, then come back to Canada around age 50.

I think he got off light, but his own life is also ruined. He's lost his children, will never have the wealth he coveted, and will forever be known as someone who killed his wife.

The CBC story:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...wife-1.2773992

And the Dateline NBC show: http://www.nbcnews.com/video/dateline/44208320

I was not happy about the plea deal but the family of the victim were quite accepting of the result, it appears. Sometimes the deal is better than the chance of not having any conviction.
I think the bold pretty much sums it up. Anyone personally connected to a murder will always feel the punishment is too light. And yet, the guy is getting 12 years in jail, lost his family and everything important to him.

I am not a defense lawyer, so I can't speak to how sentencing typically works out, but given what you provided and what was in the article, a plea bargain doesn't seem like a bad outcome. Some of the evidence wasn't reliable. If the prosecution had doubts as to a new trial, this might have been the best alternative.
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Old 02-22-2017, 12:30 PM   #928
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Charges have now been laid against those alleged to have beaten Garland:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgar...ourt-1.3994162
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Old 02-22-2017, 12:31 PM   #929
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Charges have been laid.

Global News has confirmed Brandon Richards, 34, Michael Bohdan, 30, Connor Skipper, 20, and Tristan Thom, 18, are all charged with aggravated assault.

http://globalnews.ca/news/3265568/4-.../?sf58000297=1
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Old 02-22-2017, 01:01 PM   #930
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frequitude View Post
To MBates and other defense lawyers,

Could you shed some light on lower sentences for convicted murderers? Why are they right and how do you justify trying for those when the client is in fact a murderer?

A lot of the talk defending defense lawyers in this thread has centered around the two extremes (ensuring a clearly guilty person who got the max punishment is given a fair unappealable trial like Garland, and ensuring an innocent person doesn't get convicted like Milgaard). However my speculation is that the animosity from some in this thread is coming from those who had someone close to them murdered where the accused got off with a perceived light punishment (e.g. the referenced 5 years).
Your question is mixing things up a bit. The reference to a 'murderer' getting out after serving only 5 years is that poster believing the accused committed murder and it was therefore unjust that he was only convicted of manslaughter.

In Canada, there's no such thing as a convicted murderer serving less than 10 years in jail. And the actual mandatory sentence for murder is a life sentence.

So, once convicted of murder a person in Canada will never spend another second of their life not serving their sentence. If they are not in jail they are on parole with whatever conditions are deemed appropriate. Get suspected of a breach and you are just immediately put in jail again (pending a hearing within 90 days to see if you actually did anything wrong). There's no trial and very little procedural fairness for parole breach allegations.

The numbers quoted on murder sentences are for parole eligibility meaning simply how long before a person can even ask to get paroled. Second degree murder is minimum 10. First degree is minimum 25. Very few convicted murderers will actually get parole when they are first eligible to apply.

The rationale for arguing for a lower parole eligibility in most cases is that we cannot predict how worthy a person might be for parole consideration more than a decade down the road. Since we cannot predict the future, it is best to leave those assessments to be made by the corrections officials and parole board at the time. A convict therefore has some motivation to not be useless during the 10 years they must be inside.

This case speaks to the issues somewhat:

https://www.canlii.org/en/ab/abca/do...?resultIndex=1
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Old 02-22-2017, 01:11 PM   #931
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Old 02-22-2017, 03:22 PM   #932
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Originally Posted by MBates View Post
Charges have now been laid against those alleged to have beaten Garland:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgar...ourt-1.3994162

They should hire Kim Ross as their legal representative.
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Old 02-23-2017, 10:12 AM   #933
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http://www.calgarysun.com/2017/02/23...algary-murders

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While the evidence against him was overwhelming, convicted killer Douglas Garland very nearly got away with triple murder.

If not for the uniqueness of the pickup truck he drove to the crime scene and the keen eye of his sister, Patti, the murders of Alvin and Kathy Liknes and their little grandson, Nathan O’Brien, may have gone unsolved.

CCTV footage from a neighbour’s of the Likneses captured a dark-coloured, older-model pickup truck with recognizable features driving around the area the morning the victims disappeared.

By the time the truck made a third pass, after daylight broke, it was clear it was a green-coloured vehicle.

When police circulated a still image of the truck, Patti Garland immediately recognized it as her brother’s — a man with a years-long grudge against Alvin Liknes, who happened to be the father of her then-common-law husband, Allen Liknes.

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Garland’s homestead of horrors would never have been the subject of a massive police search, which uncovered evidence that established not only had he brought his victims there, he tortured them, according to findings by Justice David Gates, before dismembering their bodies and incinerating them in a burn barrel.

Had police not been led to the farm by Patti Garland’s recognition of the truck, aerial photographs that showed the three victims lying on the grass near outbuildings at the southern end of the Airdrie property would never have been found.

In all likelihood, those images would be buried in some archive inside city hall in Airdrie, their importance unknown.

Those pictures only became meaningful after it was learned Garland was a suspect and his property was of interest to police.
Thankfully his sister had the courage to call in the tip to the police.
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Old 02-23-2017, 11:33 AM   #934
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBates View Post

This case speaks to the issues somewhat:

https://www.canlii.org/en/ab/abca/do...?resultIndex=1
Thanks for the link. It made me curious on which cases are posted on CanLII? I didn't see the Garland case on there, but I remember seeing the De Grood case on there.

I assumed the Garland case was under a publication ban; is this the case? If so, what would make a case be considered under a publication ban versus not? Does the involvement of a child victim have anything to do with this?
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Old 02-23-2017, 03:59 PM   #935
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frequitude View Post
To MBates and other defense lawyers,

Could you shed some light on lower sentences for convicted murderers? Why are they right and how do you justify trying for those when the client is in fact a murderer?

A lot of the talk defending defense lawyers in this thread has centered around the two extremes (ensuring a clearly guilty person who got the max punishment is given a fair unappealable trial like Garland, and ensuring an innocent person doesn't get convicted like Milgaard). However my speculation is that the animosity from some in this thread is coming from those who had someone close to them murdered where the accused got off with a perceived light punishment (e.g. the referenced 5 years).
None of this has anything to do with the defense lawyer, it is the system we have, you can argue that everyone convicted should get the same sentence but that's a political question, its no more the defenses fault we allow judges to lighten sentences than it is that we don't hang people anymore.

The defense has the job of doing everything they can to represent (not just defend) their client, that's the system we have, everyone in it works on the assumption that a) it works and b) if it doesn't work its parliament's job to fix it, not cops beating people up before hand because 'they get off too light' or crown hiding evidence or the defence doing a ####e job because 'I think he's guilty' or prison guards leaving the guy in the courtyard to be beaten to death.

I might not care that much if some of it happens but I sure as sugar don't want that being approved off either because its not just murder, what if your defense lawyer thinks your excuse for being pulled over having had one to many is lousy and you should actually go to jail for 6 months even though the breathalyser was off and you hadn't had a drink.

We have had several cases in the last few years where the laboratories/medical examiner testing DNA evidence essentially took it upon themselves to fix the evidence to convict in rape and murder charges, either due to incompetence or outright mendacity, realistically letting lawyers argue for the previous good character of their client as a mitigating circumstance is a form of insurance for false convictions as much as anything else.

I'm struggling desperately to remember the name of the farmer in Saskatoon (?) who killed his daughter with cerebral palsy, clearly guilty, clearly murder but equally clearly a situation where a 'one size fits all' sentence didn't really apply.

Last edited by afc wimbledon; 02-23-2017 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 02-23-2017, 04:15 PM   #936
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