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Five-Year Delay Justifies Dismissal of RadioHead Stage Collapse Prosecution

by morgan berna

At what point does a delay violate a defendant’s right to a speedy trial under Section 11(b) of the Charter? That was the question posed in the OHS Radiohead stage collapse prosecution. The tragedy in which a drum technician was killed took place in June 2012. A year later, OHS charges were laid. Trial began in November 2015 but a mistrial was declared in Dec. 2016. The Crown wanted a new trial but the defendants said this would violate their Charter rights. The court agreed and chucked the case. The presumed threshold after which a delay violates Section 11(b) is18 months, the court explained. Even if it ended on the expected May 2018 closing date, the case would have been in the system for over 5 years. Although the case was complicated and the circumstances exceptional, the delay was unjustifiable, the court concluded [R. v. Live Nation Canada Inc., 2017 ONCJ 590 (CanLII), Sept. 5, 2017].

morgan berna

morgan berna

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