Monday, 18 January 2016

Just another victim in "the best judicial system in the world"....for "Mr Henry" it will be an uphill battle .

THE ASSOCIATION IN DEFENCE OF THE WRONGLY CONVICTED 111 Peter Street, Suite 408 • Toronto, Ontario • M5V 2H1 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Supreme Court Ruling in Henry v. British Columbia (A.G.) A Tiny Step in the Right Direction



History of Ivan Henry's Case and Today's Judgment Between November 1980 and June 1982, a series of sexual assaults took place in the same Vancouver neighbourhood. The perpetrator's modus operandi (MO) was similar in each case.

 In July 1982, Ivan Henry was jailed by Vancouver police and charged in connection with 15 of the attacks. He and his lawyer repeatedly asked Crown prosecutors for full disclosure of the material the police obtained during their investigation. For reasons that remain unexplained to this day, forensic lab reports, witness statements and other police records were not disclosed. Crown prosecutors also failed to disclose to Mr. Henry that the police had identified another suspect, and failed to disclose that attacks involving the same MO continued in the same neighbourhood for more than a year after Mr. Henry had been jailed.

 Despite Mr. Henry repeatedly asserting his innocence, he was convicted and found to be a dangerous offender. In November 1983, he was sentenced to indefinite incarceration. The attacks continued for five more years while Mr. Henry remained in jail, unaware of the continuing attacks because this information was also withheld from him.

 In 2002, Vancouver police commenced a “cold-case” investigation for the attacks that remained unsolved. DNA evidence linked the crimes to the other suspect initially identified by police several years earlier, whose existence had never been disclosed to Mr. Henry or his lawyers.

 In 2008, a specially appointed Crown prosecutor finally disclosed what remained of the police files to Mr. Henry. In 2009, Mr. Henry was permitted to reopen his appeal to the British Columbia Court of Appeal, and he was granted bail after spending almost 27 years in custody. In 2010, the B.C. Court of Appeal overturned the 1983 conviction and acquitted Mr. Henry.

 Mr. Henry then filed a civil lawsuit against the police and Crown prosecutors. Among other things, he is seeking monetary compensation from the Crown for the prosecutors’ violation of his rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

 A lower level court dismissed this part of his claim and ruled that Mr. Henry could not sue Crown Prosecutors unless he can establish that they acted with “malice”. In law, “malice” means acting for an ulterior motive. In other words, the court held that Mr. Henry could not seek damages for the prosecutors’ failure to disclose the police investigation, merely because prosecutors had been negligent, forgetful or incompetent. The court held that Mr. Henry has to establish that prosecutors deliberately suppressed the evidence for some ulterior motive, and then has to prove what that motive was. In November 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada heard argument about whether or not courts can award damages against Crown prosecutors for prosecutorial misconduct in the absence of “malice”.

 What Did AIDWYC Argue at the Supreme Court of Canada?

AIDWYC argued that people who are wrongfully convicted as a result of prosecutorial misconduct, and suffer great harm as a result, should be entitled to compensation even if they are unable to establish that the prosecutor’s conduct was driven by an ulterior motive. AIDWYC also argued that the “malice” requirement in reality makes Crown prosecutors completely immune from civil suits. Prosecutors should be treated in the same way as many other professionals (e.g. accountants, doctors, engineers, lawyers and police officers), who can be required to compensate those who are harmed by professional negligence.

 AIDWYC's Position on Today's Judgment in Henry v. AG (BC)

Mr. Henry's appeal was allowed. The majority of the judges held that he is entitled to compensation if he can establish at his civil trial that the prosecutors deliberately failed to disclose the material from the police investigation that he asked for. The majority also held that it will not be sufficient if Mr. Henry can only establish at trial that the prosecutors were merely reckless, lazy or indifferent in failing to make disclosure.

 "This is good news for Mr. Henry, who is now one step closer to obtaining the compensation that is due to him because of the justice system's catastrophic failures", said Sean Dewart, one of AIDWYC's lawyers in the case. He continued to say: "The judgment is disappointing in every other respect. The majority doubled down on a line of cases that effectively immunizes governments from having to compensate victims of prosecution misconduct. The majority had to liberalize the law so that there is a remedy when prosecutors deliberately bury evidence. This tells you everything you need to know about how well they are insulated by courts".

 What is AIDWYC? AIDWYC

, or the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted, is a Canadian non-profit organization dedicated to identifying, advocating for, and exonerating individuals convicted of a crime they did not commit. AIDWYC is also dedicated to preventing such injustices in the future through legal education and justice system reform.

 Learn More about AIDWYC: • Website: www.aidwyc.org • Conviction, the AIDWYC Blog: http://www.aidwyc.org/blog• Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidwycwww.facebook.com/aidwyc • Twitter: @AIDWYC• Instagram: @AIDWYC • Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGD2PA2HLLQ

My words. "Full disclosure "in itself represents a "malicious intent" after all if you have nothing to hide, show it all. The justices that commented on this case know very well this to be so, violation of procedural process, withholding evidence that could exonerate an individual is purely malicious in all it sun glory. This is just another example of a system that beats around with words and screw people over.
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