Thursday, March 17, 2005


I have no strong opinion on the Air India trial verdict. I didn't follow any news of the trial mostly for two reasons. One, the incident occurred in that nebulous zone of time long enough ago that I don't remember it happening (yeah, I'm only 23) but is too recent and not significant enough to count as 'modern' history. Two, I generally don't follow any criminal trial proceedings as the coverage tends to be sensationalized and rarely are the details of one trial any more important than another, exept of course for the individuals involved.

So, knowing very little about the Air India trial and larger portions of the justice system in general, I have just one question.

How is it that a trail of such magnitude was not decided by a jury?

I find it slightly disconcerting that a trial this large and complex, covering the murder of over 300 people was not subject to the deliberations of a jury. I have the utmost respect for the Canadian judiciary, and from my brief reading of news stories covering the verdict the judge in this particular case does not seem to have acted improperly. Yet, to my mind, the jury is the most purely democratic institution of western society. It is central to our justice system and for years has been the citizenry's garuantee of receiving fair trials and was one of the earlies forms for checking the power of the state. Trials without juries are an affront to democracy.

That a trial of this magnitude was decided by a single elite man seems simply wrong.

Posted by Matthew @ 7:10 p.m.

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I had this same thought when I was hearing the verdict the other day on the CBC. Maybe, the defense was afraid a jury would become too emotionally attachted to the case and the victims because of the intense media coverage over the past 20 years and thus wouldn't decide based on actual facts.

Posted by Anonymous Adam @ March 21, 2005 11:42 a.m. #

I thought for sure you'd have something to say about the latest at the Gomery inquiry. Guess you must be busy but I'd be interested to read your thoughts (given your locational proximity) when you have a moment or two.

Posted by Blogger caro @ April 04, 2005 11:08 a.m. #
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