An important new decision that came out of the Alberta Court of Appeals (R v Ryon, 2019 ABCA 36) can not only reduce wrongful convictions, but it can also free some of the wrongly convicted and jailed (if appellate lawyers know about it). This video will illustrate just how difficult it is not only for juries to know what to do, but also judges when it comes to reaching the correct verdict for the innocent accused and factually innocent when using what's known as the WD test. As a non-lawyer I try to break it down for you in the video below.
Case Study #1: Judge Ignores Major Inconsistencies
A man was accused of historical sexual abuse against a child while he was a minor and was tried in a youth court as a result. The complainant was an adult at the time of the complaint and her evidence mainly relied on the inference that she had a bed wetting problem as a result of ongoing sexual abuse. It was a judge-only trial. The appeal panel found the trial judge failed to resolve major inconsistencies when accepting the account of the complainant as true. My discussion on this case is in the video below.
As we are seeing more and more in the media (mainstream and social), many sex crime claims based solely on uncorroborated verbal testimony actually find their way into courtrooms. These types of claims seem to proceed through the legal system as believed to be true, unless proven otherwise. The removal of the corroboration requirement in the 1980s is mainly what paved the way to allow such flimsy claims to waste government resources and livelihoods of the innocent accused in Canadian courtrooms. When an innocent man (or woman) is accused of such a crime with no supporting evidence, it becomes a classic game of clue for the innocent accused to first figure why the accuser (male or female) would make such a claim. Although the general belief is that the prosecutor bears the burden of proof to prove their case
Most people never expect to have cops show up at their door or workplace unannounced to arrest them for a sex crime they know they did not commit. Most people don’t understand what legal procedures are set in motion once an arrest is made. Most people also assume that if they are arrested for a sex crime they didn’t commit, a lawyer will magically swoop in and save you from ridiculous charges before the situation gets out of hand. Well, this might happen for a person that is already armed with a highly proficient and available lawyer. But what ends up happening in reality is that you find yourself not getting any helpful information or guidance from anybody while you sit in an interrogation room across from a police officer who believes you’re guilty while you know you’re innocent.
The Canadian justice system is currently designed to convict and uphold convictions of sexual assault at any level. For actual violent incidents of rape, sodomy or incest this is a good thing as people should be punished. But when it's a malicious claim that's not true, or a claim based on false memory it becomes very difficult for a man to defend himself in the absence of evidence such as DNA, doctor reports, or alibi. As we learned from my previous post Prevalence of Sexual Assault in Canada: Does it Justify Rape Culture Hysteria? the majority of sexual assault cases in our courts are of a Level 1 nature - the least violent and even non-physical in some cases.
"Clary Jaxon" takes a critical look at how current social theories and the efforts to instill them compare to the reality of actual social conditions. With a focus on Canadian issues. Check out the STW YouTube channel.