Friday, August 06, 2010

Robert Picton Appeal Dismissed

Fucker will rot in a cage where he belongs.
The court document.

r. v. pickton

Robert William Pickton Appellant


v.


Her Majesty The Queen Respondent



Indexed as: R. v. Pickton



2010 SCC 32



File No.: 33288.



2010: March 25; 2010: July 30.



Present: McLachlin C.J. and Binnie, LeBel, Deschamps, Fish, Abella, Charron, Rothstein and Cromwell JJ.



on appeal from the court of appeal for british columbia



Criminal law — Trial — Fair trial — Charge to jury — Accused charged with several counts of first degree murder — Crown maintaining that accused actually shot and killed victims — Trial judge instructing jury that if they had reasonable doubt whether accused shot victims they should return not guilty verdict — Trial judge subsequently instructing jury following question during their deliberations that they could find that accused was killer if he “was otherwise an active participant” in killings — Accused convicted of second degree murder — Whether trial judge’s response to jury question undermined fairness of trial and occasioned miscarriage of justice — Whether instructions as a whole, including response to jury question, adequately conveyed law on potential routes to criminal liability.



The accused was charged with several counts of first degree murder after the police found the dismembered remains of the victims on his property. Throughout the trial, the Crown maintained that the accused had actually shot and killed the women. The defence took the position that the Crown had failed to prove that the accused was the sole perpetrator, suggesting the potential involvement of others to the exclusion of the accused. On the fourth and last day of instructions to the jury, the defence requested that the trial judge specifically instruct the jury in accordance with the respective theories of the parties. The Crown consented to the request and the trial judge instructed the jury on those counts in respect of which the evidence was clear that the victim had died of a gunshot wound that, if they found that the accused had shot the victims, they should find that the Crown has proven the identity of the killer. On the other hand, if they had a reasonable doubt about whether or not he had shot the victims, they should return a verdict of not guilty. Following a question from the jury on the sixth day of deliberations, the trial judge re‑instructed the jury that they could also find that the accused was the killer if he “was otherwise an active participant” in the killings. At the conclusion of the lengthy trial, the jury returned a verdict of guilty of second degree murder on each of the counts. The accused appealed his convictions, arguing that the trial judge’s retraction of the “actual shooter” instruction on the sixth day of deliberations adversely impacted on the fairness of the trial and occasioned a miscarriage of justice. The Court of Appeal, in a majority decision, rejected the accused’s argument and upheld the convictions. The dissenting judge would have granted a new trial on the ground that the trial judge’s failure to instruct the jury on the law of aiding and abetting and how it might apply to this case amounted to a miscarriage of justice.



Held: The appeal should be dismissed.

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