“The first thing that is important to remember is the burden of proof is on the Crown,” Katherine Pocha, a criminal defence lawyer for Little & Company who has no connection to the case, said.
“They have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person being charged is guilty.”
On Thursday afternoon, the 12 jurors began deliberating a verdict in the case, so what did the Crown need to prove for each offence?
Pocha explained the legal definition of each and what the three considerations entailed:
- Second-degree murder: the accused intended to cause the death or bodily harm that is likely to result in the death of another person;
- In the lesser included offence of manslaughter: the burden of proof is the death occurred while the accused was committing an unlawful act — like pointing a firearm at someone; and
- Acquittal: the Crown didn’t prove the elements of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt.
“The jury will consider second-degree murder and look at the elements of that offence, then consider manslaughter separately,” Pocha said.
“Again, the Crown still has the burden of proof to prove the elements of manslaughter, and if the jury isn’t convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the person is guilty of those elements of the offence of manslaughter, then it’s a separate consideration.
Some legal analysts have said a jury will typically deliberate one day for every week of testimony heard in court, while others say there is no way of predicting how long a jury will take to arrive at a verdict.