02.12.2016 07:45 AM

Adler-Kinsella Show: the Ottawa Citizen massacre, and why the Crown will get massacred in Ghomeshi

6 Comments

  1. Peter says:

    Congrats, that was terrific on Ghomeshi (both on the law and on the hyper-emotional public setting), although I suspect it will fuel cries of “Let’s kill all the lawyers.” It’s hard not to believe there isn’t some serious fallout between the Crown and the police over this disaster. If the evidence had been thoroughly collected tested and researched, and if it had all come out during the examinations-in-chief of the complainants rather than during their crosses, things might have been very different. The number one rule of any trial lawyer, civil or criminal, is to bring out the dirty laundry in the examination in chief rather than hide it and wait for the other side to bring it out. The difference is that, even if it shows confusion or collusion or whatever, it doesn’t harm credibility. In fact, it can reinforce it–a witness with unimpeachable behavior and perfect memory about everything ends up having credibility problems too. Contrary to what many believe, this is not 1940 and judges are very experienced and trained in the confusing “mixed message” behaviours of abuse victims and the fallibility of memories.

    You can see the source of the problem in DeCoutere’s police interview. She admits there were “a few” subsequent e-mails, but then blows them away as irrelevant and commonplace (“what women do”) and inaccessible because she lost passwords to her e-mail accounts. I find it astounding that alarm bells wouldn’t have gone off in the heads of an experienced Crown attorney or trained police investigator and that they wouldn’t have realized how dangerous it was not to follow that up, obtain all the e-mails and letters, introduce them in their own case and ask her to explain them. If credibility wasn’t an issue, Ghomeshi would have had to testify and be subjected to a fierce cross-examination. Instead, they just seem to have nodded rotely at everything she told them and unsurprisingly got ambushed. In this sense, the origin of the mess was not that abuse victims weren’t believed by the police, but rather that they were believed uncritically.

  2. davie says:

    It’s all good, back to the way it should be!
    Big boost to a man who knows what some women really want, and is just the man to give it to her.
    The accused, exonerated, can get back to his morning radio gig, and Carleton can again send its female students to work with the guy.

    The massacre is the reduction in the number of women who, on seeing what happens, decide not to report much of anything.

    • Peter says:

      I’m not convinced of all that, but let’s assume you are right that some victims will be too frightened to come forward. What would you have liked to have seen in this trial that you think might have prevented that?

      • davie says:

        Your comment above is pretty good. It looks as if the prosecution was caught short by the e mails and the letter indicating an ongoing relationship between the victims and the accused. I did find it a bit odd that e mails like that were still around after so many years. Looks like the accused hung on to them, since prosecution did not follow up on finding them and seemed to been taken off guard by their inclusion in the cross examination. Hanging on to the letter I can see, though.
        I guess I take your point about the alarm bells, and digging in more to find out what that info could do in the public trial.

  3. e.a.f. says:

    the defense has raised what you would consider “reasonable doubt”. did Mr. G. strike any of those women or act in a less than acceptable manner? most likely. Will he be found not guilty? most likely.

    the witnesses didn’t[ come off looking good and neither did the CBC or Mr. G.

    The Crown perhaps didn’t do their job, on the other hand would it have been better if they hadn’t charged him? Not so much, in my opinion. Even with not guilty verdicts, the former Mr. G. of CBC is finished. Perhaps that is all that is necessary for bad behaviour.

    Abused women have various ways of dealing and reacting to being abused, this case demonstrates that.

    At least the case went to trial

  4. Dave Kurgen says:

    Quick question Warren what is your take on this video from Karen Straughan regarding some calls to make separate courts for sexual abuse?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0q25rP9t0ZI

    Just curious,

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