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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 26, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 28 THE IETHBRIDGE HERALD Thursday, April 76, 1973 Commission proposes new system of questioning police suspects fly STKI'IIKV SCOTT OTTAWA (CIM A system of supervised questioning of po- lice suspwls designed to pro- greater protection of the rights cf an accused has been proposed in a working paper of the Law Rcfonn Commission of Canada. "This proposal will inject a new integrity into the criminal justice system." says the paper which is generally critical of the present pre-trial experience of accused persons which it says is unfair and dis- criminatory. The paper, released recently, Is put out for discussion by the public and legal profession, with a view to eventuaDy amending legislation. The paper proposes police in- terrogate before an impartial third person. But first it describes a pre- trial situation that is a far cry from what Canadians see on American and British detective shows on television. It talks of questioning of sus- pects unaware of their rights to remain silent and to have a lawyer and of the "inherently coercive atmosphere" of police interrogation. "The trial of the guilt or in- nocence of an accused in Can- ada can become nothing more than appeal from his in- terrogation by police.'' it says. "Canada has no guidelines de- scribing the manner in which police should conduct their questioning and permitting the exclusion of confessions obtain- ed if they are breached. LAW DISCRIMINATES Pressures exerted in police questioning required confidence and self-assertion possessed by few. So the law in practice dis- criminated in favor of the so- phisticated criminal "'who is less likely to be intimidated and more able to weigh rationally the advantages of silence or co- operation in the particular situ- ation.'' The paper says accused have the right to remain silent in po- lice and in court in Canada. But occasion this could be used gainst them. Statements given in- voluntarily or taken illegally could net be used in trials but evidence gathered as a result of those statements could be. And an involuntary statement con- firmed by subsequent facts could be used. Having made criticisms such as that, the paper protests that statements made in response to police questioning can be used in court in the correct circum- stances. But the fact that the accused chose to remain silent could not be used as circum- stantial evident of guilt. "Not only is this distinction irrational, but by permitting the accused to reserve this ex- planation or defence until the last moment, it may have the effect of depriving the court of important evidence that could otherwise be gathered and in- troduced by the prosecution to verify or rebut the accused's defence." SUGGESTS SYSTEM The paper suggests this sys- tem of supervised questioning before a "protective arbiter" whose prime function would be to assure that the accused knew hig rights and to be "society's witness to the fairness of the may question a per- son about a crime, as at present. That person has the right to remain silent. Xo state- ment at this time is admissible in court. person may be obliged to, or may request to, appear be- fore an independent official for police questioning. official will ensure the accused knows of his right to Dollar value of traded shares up TORONTO :'CPi Dollar value of shares traded on five Canadian stock markets in 1hc first quarter this year increased 10 per cent but volume was dowTi by n per cent, the To- ronto Stock Exchange reported yesterday. ToiaJ value- was 52 5.1 billion for 465 million shares traded compared with billion for 529 mDljOTi shares in the same period last year. The Toronto. Montreal and Canadian cschanrcs showed in- creases JJ3 with the Vancouver. Calvary and Wini- pec markrt remding de- creases. The Toronto radiance had 5199 billion for if] million sharci roTnnartd v.iih 5-1 bil- lion and ]i') million rhares the prevjws year. Of this, indus- trial issues accmmicd si billion on 94 million .-hares com- with si.49 VJlkm and V, million in A 'fjf-2 mil Is on flares were traded Montreal Canadian cxchanrcs for JT'rt milJr.n 7i irw quarter 77 v.tTf jo; J.52'1 HUi- ton, counsel and silence and will ex- plain the exact crime with which he is charged. The accused may make a statement or refuse to make one or to answer police questions. He would be subject to the laws of perjury. In this conreclion "an ac- cused's refusal to answer proper and relevant questions would be noted and may also be used as evidence at trial" not only to weaken any defence, but "for the purpose of supplying an inference of guilt." accused may decide not to testify in his own trial. If he refuses the judge may comment on it to the jury. before the pub- lic official would be in public, although there could be circum- stances when the public should be excluded. would be no rigorous cross-examination by police. The accused simply would have the opportunity to comment on evidence. The paper leaves open who would take this important posi- tion of independent arbiter. It mentions that he could be a magistrate, a justice of the peace, a lawyer or a layman. It says its proposal does not pretend to effectively eliminate all improper police conduct and that there are points for and against the whole idea. Like all the work of the law reform commission, the idea K thrown out for discussion ant comment. From that discussion and the vrork of the commis- sion, a recommendation for law amendments will be event lually made to parliament 10 days! Save up to No payment 'til June. I fjf Save Economy priced Coldspot. 5.000 BTU, one-room Now 164.98 Save to Louvered panel front. BTU 194.98 BTU 224.98 Save up to Our best Fully auto- matic. Just Set and Forget. Compressor and fan turn as conditions dictate. Automat- ically changes fan speeds too. 1 Washable, germicidal filter screens out dust, pollen and irritants. 3-speed fan, with 'low' quiet operation for un- disturbed sleep. Air exhaust. 4-way, air direction. Dehumidifies. Quick mount in- stallation. Handsome Woodgrain panel front. Save to Giant capacity Coldspots: BTU Now 514.98 BTU 594.98 BTU BTU BTU BTU BTU BTU Now 284.98 Now 344.98 Now 394.98 Now 354.98 Now 404.98 Now 454.98 Cooling and dehumidifying chart: BTU Cools sq. ft. dehumidifies U.S. pints per day Save Vertical sfide-sider Coldspot. Louvered panel front. BTU 254.98 'After May 8 Cnn up to 250 up to 350 up to 550 Up to 700 Up to 750 up to up to up to up to up to up to up to 38 up to 43 up to 64 up to 72 up to 64.8 up to 86 up to 120 up to 98.4 up to 182 up to 206 up to 242 Free estimate. No obligation Phone 328-9231 or Mail Thin Coupon Simpsons-Sears Centre ViJJogs Moll, tethbridge I'd like an appointment to hSve my air-conditioning needs estimated. Name (please print) Address. .Phone Major "Charge It" On Your All Purpose Account STORE HOURS: Open dotty from a.m. to p.m., Thurs. and Fri. from o.m. to p.m., Centre Village Moll, lethbridgo 328-9231 ;