Appeal from first degree murder conviction following a jury trial. Accused confessed during a Mr. Big operation. “There were 66 scenarios culminating in two confessions approximately four months into the operation.” The confessions formed the only evidence against the accused at trial. Trial completed prior to the Supreme Court’s release of Hart, 2014 SCC 52.
Held: Appeal dismissed.
This form of confession is presumptively inadmissible, with the Crown having to prove that probative value outweighs the prejudicial effect. Test met. The accused was never threatened and there were numerous markers of reliability in weighing the confession. There were several pieces of holdback evidence (including the type of gun used in the shooting) which would generally not be in knowledge of an innocent bystander. Although the potential for prejudice existed, the trial judge’s “instructions limiting the use of character evidence” reduced the risk of reasoning prejudice.
A. Sanders – Defence Counsel