Lisa Dudley’s father sees ‘harmony’ with Nick Lang’s family in quest for dead children’s rights
The father of a woman who died days after she was gunned down in her living room along with her partner says he sees a common cause with another grieving B.C. family in their fight to see their children’s charter rights recognized.
Lisa Dudley and her partner Guthrie McKay were shot in their home in 2008.
WATCH: Sentence in double murder not enough for families of the victims
Neighbours heard the gunfire and called police, but an officer sent to investigate never left his cruiser and failed to see the critically injured couple.
Dudley survived for several days and was eventually found by a neighbour, but didn’t survive.
Four people have since been sentenced in the couple’s killings.
But Dudley’s stepfather, Mark Surakka, is arguing her rights to life, liberty, and security of the person guaranteed under Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms were ignored, and wants to take his charter challenge to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Surakka said he feels there is a “harmony” between his family’s plight, and that of Nick Lang’s parents.
LISTEN: CKNW’s Jeremy Lye speaks with Mark Surakka about his common cause with the Lang family
Fifteen-year-old Lang died while undergoing addiction treatment in government care.
His parents say the province is fighting their civil suit on the grounds their dead son has no legal rights.
“I hope Mr. Lang at least knows that somebody is doing something about it, or trying to,” Surakka said.
“I can’t imagine how many people know that once you die you have no rights, regardless of whether your death or injury is a result of an act of omission or direct action by a government or their agents.”
WATCH: Family of Nick Lang suing province over son’s death
The B.C. Supreme Court ruled in the Surakka family’s favour, but the province and federal government have appealed.
“If we get to the Supreme Court in Ottawa, at least that will entrench somehow in the justice system… that the government will be held accountable, and that people can proceed on these grounds,” said Mark Surakka.
“They’re unusual cases, but I think they warrant an in-depth look.”
While the government has changed since Surakka began his legal fight in 2010, he said “the lawyers haven’t,” and that his family is still meeting resistance from both Victoria and Ottawa.
Surakka said it’s too late to help his daughter, but he hopes his fight will help others in the future by changing the interpretation of people’s constitutional rights.
The Ministry of the Attorney General said the matter is currently in litigation, and that it was not able to comment on it.
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