Toronto – The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled On Friday the criminal defendants could argue that they were so intoxicated that they were in an automated state and therefore not liable. For some violent crimes, violence and sexual harassment.
The highly anticipated verdict relates to three separate cases where men have used drugs and then committed violent crimes. In one, a man ate magic mushrooms and then, declaring to do God’s will, broke into his father’s house, stabbed him to death and seriously injured his father’s companion.
Defendants argued that they were originally rendered automatically – unable to act voluntarily or intend to do so – and that such defense laws violated their constitutional right to innocence and life, liberty and security. Person
The main question before the judges was whether the law was unconstitutional, and if not, whether the restrictions imposed on a suspect’s ability to defend himself were still justified.
In a unanimous decision, the court answered both questions in the negative. It said the “harmful effects” of the law were “serious and worrying” and that it was It had one “fundamental flaw”: the risk of being unjustly convicted.
He was more into magic mushrooms when he killed his father. Can he use ‘extreme intoxication’ as a defense?
“It violates the principles of virtually all criminal law that the law relies on to protect the morally innocent,” Justice Nicholas Cassier wrote on behalf of the court. “It enables convictions where the defendant acted unintentionally, where the defendant did not have the required minimum level of error, and where the Crown did not prove the essential elements of the crime beyond reasonable doubt.”
There is a problem The long divided lower court and the Canadian public. It touches on how the rights of the accused can be balanced with the public, including vulnerable groups such as women and children.
The law in question was passed in 1994 in a resounding response Supreme Court decision in Henry Devialt’s case. Daviault ate several beers and mostly bottles of brandy before throwing himself into a bed using a wheelchair and sexually abusing a 65-year-old woman. He asserted that his confession had been obtained through torture.
The court ruled that he had the right to raise a defense that he was so intoxicated that it amounted to autoimmunity or insanity, which disqualified him from acting voluntarily or possessing a guilty mind.
In further anger, Parliament passed a law in 1995 barring defendants from using it as a defense that they were so extreme in self-imposed intoxication that they “lacked the general intent or will to commit the crime.” Crimes involving violence against another person.
The Supreme Court ruled Friday that the law “undermines many of the core beliefs used in shaping our criminal law system.” It said parliament could still pass legislation in the area that would “lessen the gap on the rights of defendants”, including creating separate offenses of criminal intoxication.
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Lawsuits related to governance from Ontario and Alberta.
The Alberta case involved Matthew Winston Brown, who ate several mixed drinks, a few beers and some magic mushrooms at a party. He vandalized two houses and assaulted a resident. An Alberta tribunal found the law unconstitutional and He was acquitted, but a provincial appellate court refused.
One incident in Ontario was that of Thomas Chan, a man who ate magic mushrooms before killing his father. In another, David Sullivan tried to commit suicide by taking 80 Wellbutrin tablets. He spoke of aliens, then stabbed his mother. An Ontario appeals court found the lower court guilty for both men and ordered a new trial for Chan.
The Supreme Court upheld Brown’s acquittal and confirmed Sullivan’s acquittal New trial for Chan.
The Ontario Court of Appeals has drawn a response. Some rights groups and analysts have argued that this would create a barrier for women seeking justice for sexual violence perpetrated by perpetrators. Other drunken analysts have counter-commented that the defense will be successful in only a small number of cases, and that there is a difference between extreme intoxication and extreme intoxication, such as autoimmunity.
The Conservative Party of Canada has condemned the decision as “a major step towards victims’ rights in Canada.”
Canadian Justice Minister David Lameti said in a statement that the government was reviewing the decision “to determine its impact on victims and criminal law” and that the ruling “would not apply to most cases involving a person who commits a criminal offense under the influence of drugs.”
The Supreme Court ruled that “drunkenness, lacking clear scientific evidence of autoimmunity, is not a defense of common intent crimes, including crimes of violence such as sexual assault.”
“These are not incidents of getting drunk,” Cassier wrote. “In each of these appeals, the defendants used drugs that they argued, taken alone or in combination with alcohol, provoking emotional, confusing and unintentional behavior, reactions that are not usually related to intoxication.”
The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund, which has been given the status of an interventionist in the Supreme Court’s appeal, has said that regardless of the verdict, there is a need to improve the response to sexual violence.
“Drugs have never been, and still aren’t, a defense against sexual harassment,” said Kat Owens, a project director at the group. “We’re glad the Supreme Court saw the spelling clearly and exclusively.”