A triumph of Canada’s justice system

The accused challenged the justice system with threats to prosecutors, verbal abuse of court officials, meandering monologues and behaviour so bizarre that he was exiled to the ‘rubber room’ for three months.

Richard Wills admitted to stuffing the body of his lover in a trash bin, but swore he didn’t kill her. The judges responded by taking every step to ensure a fair trial. In doing so, they tolerated extremes of behaviour and assented to orders that led to defence lawyers being paid at least $800,000 of public money to defend him.

It was, in a strange way, a triumph of the system.

That’s the teaser for a story in today’s Globe and Mail. The writer is Christie Blatchford, one of my favourite journalists.

Sometimes the justice system bends over backwards to ensure a fair trial. Blatchford is absolutely right when she describes this as a “triumph of the system”.

It’s certainly better than throwing suspects in jail without charges, refusing to let them see a lawyer, holding them indefinitely, and denying them access to a court of law. But I suppose “triumph of the system” means different things to different people.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. James Pate
    Nov 01, 2007 @ 11:44:13

    Yeah, but did you read that Canada has been accused of torture? I sent the yahoo article to myself, so I’ll send you the link if you want me to.

    Reply

  2. Stephen
    Nov 06, 2007 @ 12:34:38

    My apologies for being so slow to respond to your comment, James. By all means, send me the link: stephen(dot)peltz(at)gmail(dot)com.

    Reply

  3. 49erDweet
    Nov 06, 2007 @ 14:30:24

    Basically I agree with you, Stephen, that the trial was a testament to a successful “rule of law”. Whatever the jurisdiction.

    The apparently deliberate conduct of the defendant doesn’t speak well, however, of the culture and sub-culture under which he was formed. And it scares me, a little, as a former law enforcement officer that a so-called “brother” officer [in I guess what would be called a "sister" service] would so contemptuously display such gross misconduct in an obvious attempt to escape responsibility for his actions.

    Where did he serve and what did he see during his former service that so badly skewed his understanding of justice? To me that is a disturbing question that needs further investigation, exposure and eventual enlightenment. Are there more like him still serving? Where? Why?

    And btw, this is not a CA issue. It is an international “rule of law” issue, imho.

    Well, sorry to be a little down. Cheers, anyway

    Reply

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