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HELD

No. Appeal dismissed; trial decision upheld.

RATIO

There is no such offence as attempt to conspire to commit a further substantive offence.

NOTES

“In the instant case the solicitor’s act was complete and uninterrupted.  In the absence of an agreement, there was no offence, and a conviction for an attempt to conspire to defraud would be punishment for a guilty intention alone.”

“Incitement” is an offence that could have been invoked to meet the circumstances of this case but the appeal judge thought it inappropriate to consider here.

Aspects of Innocence

Automatism

R. v. Stone [1999] 2 S.C.R. 290

FACTS

On his way to visiting his sons from a previous marriage, the accused rode with his current way who was expressing her objections to the visit.  She also said that she was going to divorce him, that she had falsely reported to the police that he was abusing her, and, among other things, that he had a small penis and was a lousy fuck.   The guy snapped. He came to seeing her dead, slumped over the car seat, having been stabbed 47 times.  He put her body in a box, took care of some errands, and flew to Mexico.  He dreamt about the incident and flew back to Canada to turn himself in.  The 5-4 S.C.C. decision dismissed the Crown Appeal against the sentence (which was light) but the division in the Court came on whether sane automatism should have been left to jury, with the majority holding that the judge had been correct in not putting the defence to the jury.  The majority also decided to reverse the onus of proof.

ISSUE

How do we distinguish between sane automatism and insanity (covered by s. 16)?  How can an accused demonstrate that mere words caused him to enter an automatistic state such that his actions were involuntary and thus do not attract criminal law sanction?

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