Friday, August 25, 2006

In a community of kangaroos…

There's nothing good to say about this:

A man accused of a grisly dismemberment killing has put Manitoba’s jury system on trial with a unique legal challenge that claims native people are being unfairly discriminated against.

Sydney Teerhuis, 34, says the jury selection process doesn’t allow for a true representation of the public to hear a criminal case and is a violation of his Charter rights.

Teerhuis, who is native, is seeking a true “jury of his peers” in the form of a largely aboriginal panel to hear his high-profile case.

One of Teerhuis’ main arguments is that aboriginals are unfairly being precluded from jury duty because of a stipulation prospective jurors can’t have criminal records.
That a man who stands accused of slaughtering and violating another human being can express sincere belief in the idea that “his people” will somehow see things differently and perhaps feel compassion for him — despite his confessing to the murder — shows what possible horrors lie in the notion of handing over justice, as well as any other social service, to the kangaroo court of special interest victimhood.
Trial by peers is a critical part of the jurisprudence of a free people. But one of the most misapprehended and procedurally obscured aspects of this most cherished of rights and guarantee of non-interference by government is what is meant by peers — which as convention, both unwritten and codified, was best summed up by Patrick Henry:
"What is meant by his peers? Those who reside near him, his neighbors, and who are well aquainted with his character and situation in life."
… and who are those who gain the most from justice to the accused and who stand to lose the most from denying it. Peers do not mean artificially segregated special interest groups with selective agendas that supercede the particulars of the case in court. It is hoped that the Charter's indulgent cross-pollination of collective and individual rights does not afford yet another opportunity for the elevation of special interests at the expense of justice.


Honey Pot said...

Wouldn't his peers be the likes of Clifford Olsen, Karla, Paul and their ilk?

MapMaster said...

If they lived in proximity to him. I can't help thinking that there might be a "careful what you wish for" aspect to Teerhuis' challenge.

Ian Scott said...

"Trial by peers is a critical part of the jurisprudence of a free people."

Interesting comment, MapMaster. How far would you take this? Do you know that Israel does not have trial by jury?

MapMaster said...

How far would I take it? I'm not sure that I understand the question but, knowing you Ian, you probably have some specific instances that would challenge my making such a broad general statement like this :)

I would say, though, that trial by peers removes accused parties from the hands of legislative power into the hands of the accused's peers and letting them determine whether conviction under that legislative power is an article of consent rather than of arbitrary tyranny. Any people who do not have the right to a trial by peers finds that their freedom is conditional to the state that controls the laws of evidence and instruction. This is true of Israelis or the people of any other nation.

Pietr said...

Say,Map,did you know that France,Germany,Italy,most of the rest of Europe,Russia, don't have trial by jury?

MapMaster said...

A jihad upon them!

Dan Zupansky said...

The main issue in this trial has been lost by the tactics of the Defense (Greg Brodsky-who has defended more murderers than any other lawyer in the English-speaking world)and his killer client. Teerhuis directed police to his murder/dismemberment horror spectacle, but did not confess. He maintained that he had passed out intoxicated and when he awoke he discovered the victim cut into eight pieces. He had been disemboweled and all of his internal organs, including the heart,had been removed and which are still missing. Because alcohol was involved, the second-degree murder charge would almost certainly be reduced via routine plea-bargaining to a manslaughter conviction. Given the double time credit for pre-trial incarceration, three years plus X two, this psychopathic killer would recieve a 10 year sentence, and be out free in less than 4 years from arrest! The worst part is that he may have killed before and may kill again. This jury composition challenge has been ongoing since 1973. Starting with R.V. Bradley and Martin (1973) Ont., R.V. Diabo (1974) Quebec, R.V. Laforte (1975), and on to the 90's. Only one decision even slightly deviated from the courts denying that there was any basis to the jury composition challenge, and that was R.V. Bird (1984), which when examined does not have any relation to this case in particular. In effect Brodsky has been allowed to significantly delay this trial for up to two more years. This decision was to be rendered in August and then in September. In january Judge Marc Monin still has not made his decision. Why? The answer may be that a journalist became involved with this story and has wound up the star witness for the prosecution, testifying against Teerhuis, with Teerhuis' own letters as the shocking and surprising new evidence that clearly identifies a classic serial killer profile, and more importantly exposes a judicial system gone horribly wrong.
The victim was an aboriginal man from a reserve. The killer is an aboriginal who was adopted when he was three to a non-aboriginal family in Winnipeg. This jury challenge is only a delay and manipulation. The incredible letters that Teerhuis wrote about the murder/dismemberment are now evidence. Follow this story closely for Sidney will rank right up there with other notorious psychopathic killers once this trial is done. I'm just glad that this disturbing case has got some attention. Please keep paying attention. Google the Winnipeg Sun for interviews with the killer and the better coverage of the story.

Dan Zupansky