Walt's favourite court-watcher, Agent 3, has been following a murder case wending its way through the courts of Ontario, Canada's most populous province. As those who know the Greater [sic] Toronto Area would expect, race and religion are involved.
The victim of a 2004 shooting in Brampton, Ontario -- an increasingly dark bedroom community northwest of Toronto -- was Youhan Oraha, a drug dealer. The three accused were Evol Robinson, his differently-surnamed brother Jahmar Welsh, and their friend Ruben Pinnock. All of the accused are, errr, Jamaican-Canadians.
In their trial before Mr. Justice Terrance O'Connor of the Ontario Superior Court, the evidence which did them in was that of an undercover cop who posed as an "obeah spiritual advisor", to whom the accused gave what amounted to a confession.
A confession given to a Catholic priest would have been inadmissible under Canadian law. Sadly for the accused, obeah has nothing to do with Christianity. It centres on mysticism and spiritualism and is commonly practised by people of Caribbean descent. The word "voodoo" comes to mind, but at the trial four defence experts at trial called obeah "a form of religious practice".
Judge O'Connor questioned the sincerity of the accused's religious beliefs, and allowed the fake testimony of "Leon de Obeah Man". The bogus spiritualist had told the boys that the Robinson family was cursed by an evil spirit, a "white boy" who had drawn police and the judiciary to them. He offered to protect them, so they spilled their guts to him. "Guilty, guilty, guilty!" Said the judge.
Was that the end of it? Is the Pope Catholic? [Apparently not. Ed.] Enter the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the African-Canadian Legal Clinic, organizations funded by charitable donations and tax dollars willingly and unwillingly provided by whities. These assiduous opponents of racism and champions of religious freedom put to the Ontario Court of Appeal the argument that the religious rights of the accused were breached by the racist police, in sending "Leon" to extract incriminating information that the accused otherwise wouldn't have given.
The CCLA intervention argued that allowing police to impersonate religious advisers "shocks the conscience of Canadians." The African Canadian Legal Clinic said the police trickery "preyed on the Robinson family's deep-seated mistrust of the criminal justice system". Well, duh!
The appeal court disagreed with the appeal to political correctness. In a judgement released yesterday, three white judges wrote: "We conclude that any religious element in the Obeah sessions with Leon is properly characterized as trivial, insubstantial and dwarfed by the corrupt motives that induced the appellants to participate in and fall for the elaborate scheme of deception practised upon them."
Furthermore, the court found police did not compel any action for a religious purpose. "Leon encouraged the appellants to adopt Obeah practices, but encouragement short of compulsion does not infringe" religious rights, said the judges.
Nor did the judges accept that the applicants were "unfairly targeted because of they are black and of Jamaican heritage". Rather, they were singled out because they were suspected of murder. Well said. Let's see the liberal activist lawyers get the Supreme Court of Canada to reverse that one!