Jury well equipped to understand and determine issue of planning and deliberation

Ontario criminal | Appeal

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Jury well equipped to understand and determine issue of planning and deliberation

Appeal by accused from conviction for first degree murder. Accused was tried by judge and jury for first and second degree murder. Victim was woman with whom accused once lived in common law relationship. At trial Crown’s position was that killing amounted to planned and deliberate murder and accused killed her because he could not accept her independence. On appeal accused conceded liability for second degree murder but he claimed that trial judge erred in her instructions on evidence that related to issue of planning and deliberation. Appeal dismissed. Appeal did not turn on judge’s legal instruction on planning and deliberation, which accused described as impeccable. Rather, it turned on whether judge adequately addressed evidence so that jury was equipped to understand and determine issue of planning and deliberation for purposes of first degree murder conviction. Judge invited jury to consider evidence that could support inference of planning and deliberation. She fairly reviewed evidence and she was not required to review every competing inference that could be drawn from piece of circumstantial evidence. Judge was also not obligated to review all of evidence. Jury was well equipped to understand and determine issue of planning and deliberation and whether accused should be convicted of first degree murder. Charge to jury was fair and there was no miscarriage of justice.
R. v. McPherson (Mar. 26, 2014, Ont. C.A., S.T. Goudge J.A., S.E. Pepall J.A., and E.A. Cronk J.A., File No. CA C49298) 113 W.C.B. (2d) 95.

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