20 May 2007

A Jury of Your Peers in Newfoundland

I listen to a podcast entitled Newfoundland and Labrador This Week from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. There was a segment about how a judge declared a mistrial because the entire jury pool for St. John's, Newfoundland had not been updated for eight years. (For those not up on their Newfoundland geography, St. John's is the capital of Newfoundland and is also it's largest city.) Apparently the person responsible for updating the jury pool just didn't, and so no one born after 1980 was listed in the jury pool. The judge hearing the case held that this violated the Candian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and rescheduled the case for October. All criminal trials in St. John's will have to be put on hold while they fix this problem. Plus, even the Justice Minister has conceded that people within the appeal period might have viable appeals about this. I don't know what Canada's jurisprudence is about juries, but it seems to me that they might have some argument to make. I had tried to find the judge's opinion online at this site (useful if you need to do Canadian law research), but no dice.
The best I could find was this article from the CBC.

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