RARE, CONTROVERSIAL CASES LIKE THIS DEMONSTRATE A LITTLE-KNOWN VOID IN CANADA’S CRIMINAL LAW.
Interesting, Written by Karen Selick–lawyer and commentator. “Another version of my article on how jury nullification might have applied in the tragic Stephan case. I would like all Canadians to be aware of the power they hold as jurors, even though nobody can tell them about it at the trial.”
Karen writes, “It must be a huge relief for the members of a jury when an eight-week trial ends, but even so, it’s not often that half-a-dozen jurors dissolve into tears and sobs in the courtroom immediately after announcing their verdict. That’s what happened on April 26 after the Lethbridge, Alberta jury found David and Collet Stephan guilty of failing to provide the necessaries of life for their son Ezekiel. The 19-month-old boy died in 2012 after contracting meningitis and spending eight minutes without air in an inadequately equipped ambulance taking him to hospital. One courtroom observer (a friend of the Stephans) told me six of the twelve jurors cried, some quite loudly. Global News reported that “several jurors” cried. TheCanadian Press said two. The CBC — the news source that had consistently painted a negative portrait of the Stephans throughout the trial — didn’t bother mentioning jurors crying, saying in its online coverage only that Collet Stephan and “people in the courtroom’s gallery” cried.