Ontario Criminal


Charter of Rights

ENFORCEMENT OF RIGHTS
Inducements made to accused to get her to provide statement

Application by Crown to admit two statements made by accused to police. Accused was charged with second degree murder. Accused’s first statement was made to one of two police officers who responded to 9-1-1 call at accused’s building. In parking garage officers found accused, witness who made 9-1-1 call and deceased who was not breathing. One officer had brief conversation with accused and asked her for her name and if she was from specific apartment. Accused provided her name and she said she was from that apartment. She also told officer that deceased attacked her and she defended herself. Officer testified that accused was hysterical and distraught and he calmed her down, by telling her she was not in trouble and by placing his hand on her shoulder to reassure her and he was able to obtain information from her. He also testified that accused was not suspect when he questioned her. Second statement was lengthy statement that was videoed and audiotaped at police station. Crown applied for ruling on voluntariness of first statement and statement made at station. It conceded that second half of statement made at station could not be proven to be voluntary and Crown did not seek to introduce it. Accused claimed that entire statement at station was involuntary and that both statements should be excluded on basis that accused’s rights under Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms were infringed. Application allowed in part. First statement was admissible as it was given voluntarily. Her Charter rights were not breached when she gave that statement because she was not detained when she provided it. Statement taken at station was not proven to have been given voluntary and it was inadmissible. Inducements were also made to accused to get her to provide statement. Prior to interview accused was left in cold room with inadequate clothing for 10 hours before interview and she was given water and no food. At that interview accused was questioned in aggressive manner and she repeatedly told interviewing officers that she did not want to answer any questions and she had been advised by counsel not to do so. Officers ignored her and they continued with interview. If conclusion on voluntariness was wrong, statement at station was still inadmissible because several of accused’s Charter rights were violated and admission of statement would bring administration of justice into disrepute.

R. v. Dupuis (May. 2, 2014, Ont. S.C.J., M. Forestell J., File No. 13-40000614-0000) 113 W.C.B. (2d) 433.

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