Conviction appeal on second degree murder charge. Primary issue being trial judge’s ruling to admit a Mr. Big confession. Argument that trial judge failed to balance probative value against prejudicial effect as required by Hart, 2014 SCC 52.
Held: Appeal allowed, new trial.
Regarding prejudice, the trial judge focused on the need to properly instruct the jury about the dangers of character evidence. “We agree with the appellant that the trial judge completely failed to discuss or weigh the prejudicial effect of introducing the Mr. Big operation … consideration of the prejudicial effect of a Mr. Big confession requires more than merely referencing those concerns raised by Hart. Judges must consider the particular confession before them and the potential for moral and reasoning prejudice.”
P. Milczarek – Defence Counsel