Truth or Rights

You can always tell when an accused is guilty during the trial.  The accused’s lawyer will use constitutional arguments to have evidence declared inadmissible.

For example, the police stop and search a car.  They find guns and drugs—millions of dollars of guns and drugs.  The defense lawyer will argue that the police stop and search was illegal and a gross violation of the accused’s rights; therefore, the guns and drugs are not admissible as evidence because they were obtained illegally.  With no evidence, the judge has no choice but to acquit the accused.  And then the defense lawyer has the audacity to tell the media, after the trial, how the police charged an innocent person and violated his or her rights.

This never happened prior to 1982 before The Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Under the British North America Act, the courts were concerned about the truth.  Even if the police seized the evidence illegally, it was admissible because it pointed to the truth.  Under the Charter, the courts are concerned more with an accused’s rights rather than the truth.

A man stabs six people to death.  The police arrest him. During the arrest, an officer sneezes and some snot gets on the accused.  The snot becomes the issue at the man’s trial where he is facing six counts of murder.

“Imagine my poor client, your honor,” says the defense lawyer, “he was already under the trauma of murdering six people by stabbing them to death.  And then he had to endure the stress of an officer sneezing on him.  It was a gross abuse of my client’s rights.”

“I agree,” says the judge. “Your client suffered at the hands of the police and experienced an appalling abuse of his rights.  I am dismissing all six charges against him.  I am also recommending that the police officer be disciplined for sneezing on your client.  And, I will recommend that police officers must wear surgical masks when making arrests to avoid this gross abuse of rights from happening again.”

Okay, so I exaggerated a little.  But check into any case where the court dismissed the charges because the police made a mistake.  My scenario is not that much of an exaggeration.  Also, you will see how an accused’s rights are the most important thing.  They are more important than the truth, and, certainly more important than the victims of crimes.

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About the Author

I am Minnie and Chic's son.