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.