Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Tale of Two Judges: Jackson, in New Brunswick, and O'Donnell, in Ontario

Ontario Judge Fergus O'Donnell
Canadians are often confused by their justice system.  

Often, the problem is corruption on the part of judges and lawyers.  

When judges and lawyers bend, twist and pervert the law to protect cronies, working colleagues and family friends they speak or write the law crookedly - on purpose -, innocent people are convicted to protect others and the public are confused.  

This past week in Ontario, an honest judge, Fergus O'Donnell, dismissed a charge of assault brought by the police against an innocent citizen.  The police had arrested Matthew Duncan without any lawful right to do so and, as they attempted to take Mr. Duncan into custody he resisted.  

Judge O'Donnell, a former prosecutor with Canada's National Prosecution Service, dismissed the charge, corrected the police and reasserted the law that, in Canada, every citizen has the right to resist an unlawful arrest. 

It is self-evident that a charge of assault to resist arrest requires proof of a lawful arrest. This is not a Charter issue; it is a fundamental element of the offence. The requirement reflects the important fact that in a democracy agents of the state operate within limits. If an arrest is unlawful, resistance to that arrest is not unlawful 

Click here to read the case of R. v. Duncan 2013 ONCJ 160 Canlii

By contrast, in Fredericton, New Brunswick, when Provincial Court Chief Judge, Leslie Jackson, (shown in centre of photo on right)  was faced with a similar situation in the case of Evelyn Greene, a 62 year old woman who midly resisted the illegal attempt of four police officers to remove her from a Public Health Facility where she was seeking medical treatment, Judge Jackson found in favour of the police and convicted Evelyn Greene, leaving court watchers shaking their heads and wondering if Judge Jackson is "on the take", if he is afraid of the police or if he found in favour of the police because one of the officers, Constable Nancy Rideout, who has a history of assaulting private citizens, is the daughter of another New Brunswick judge.

At the time of this post, Judge Jackson has not published written reasons for his bizarre decision and the Editors are waiting for him to explain his controversial decision.

Evelyn Greene has filed an appeal of the decision while others are asking if Chief Judge Jackson will be investigated for corruption which is highly unlikely given that Crown prosecutors were accused of conspiring with the police to fabricate evidence as part of a sinister plot to railroad Evelyn Greene in order to protect drug dealing staff at the a local medical facility. 

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