In Canada, many are concerned that too many murder and assault cases are granted stays because of a law in Canada known as the Jordan ruling. A Supreme Court decision in the case of R. v. Jordan determined that lower court cases must be completed within 18 months and Superior Court cases must be completed in 30 months. Because of this ruling, assault and murder cases are being dismissed. Those that are accused of the crimes go free.
In the original Canadian ruling in the courts, there was an allowance made for transitional periods when the case was already in the system. However, the Jordan ruling has affected hundreds of Canadian cases. There has been an increase in stays but many of them have been for cases like impaired driving.
Judges in Canadian courts do not have to stay a case if they feel that there has been sufficient progress. In a case in Alberta, the judge ruled that although a case where three youths were found guilty of beating a teenager to death had been in the system for just over 30 months, it did not get stayed. This was because the Canadian judge was already in the system for sufficient time during the transitional period.
Unfortunately, according to CBC, “there are legitimate concerns involving backlogs and shortages of judges, among other issues.” Some serious allegations have been stayed in Canadian courts, and although some of them have been appealed, others have resulted in cases like murder and assault cases being removed.
In Alberta, Canadian courts have seen dozens of Jordan applications. Lance Matthew Regan, who was accused of stabbing a fellow inmate to death while in jail in 2011, had his case stayed. In this instance, the delay, which lasted five years, was the result of contributions by the defense. Two sexual assault cases were stayed in October of 2016. A total of 15 cases in Edmonton, Alberta, were stayed because there were not enough resources. Two of these 15 cases were for assaulting police officers.
In 2016, New Brunswick courts stayed six charges against a man who had been charged with sexual assault in 2010. He was also charged with incest, assault with a weapon, and other charges that occurred in the previous years.
In Ontario, 46 cases were stayed in the last six months of 2016. These included a first-degree murder case and the sexual assault of a toddler.
What do you think about this? Should the Jordan ruling be challenged?
[Featured Image by Chris Ryan/iStock]