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Criminal - Appeals - Fact-Based

. R. v. R.S.

In R. v. R.S. (Ont CA, 2023) the Court of Appeal considered the deference owed to a trial judge's fact-findings:
[43] In any event, the appellant has failed to identify any legal error in the trial judge’s analysis but, rather, simply asks this court to substitute its findings of fact for those of the trial judge. It is obvious that this is not an appropriate basis for intervention by this court, given the deference owed to a trial judge’s findings of fact: R. v. Morrissey 1995 CanLII 3498 (ON CA), [1995] 22 O.R. (3d) 514 (C.A.), at p. 538; R. v. Zaher, 2019 ONCA 59, at para. 23.
. R. v. Cargioli

In R. v. Cargioli (Ont CA, 2023) the Court of Appeal considered appeals by three defendants from convictions, one for first-degree murder and two for second-degree murder. In this extract the court consider a purely-fact challenge in a criminal appeal:
(iii) Did the trial judge err in admitting Mr. Morrisson’s statement to the police?

[51] The trial judge ruled that, with the exception of one part of Mr. Morrisson’s statement, his statement to the police was voluntary and admissible: R. v. Cargioli, 2015 ONSC 3788. The appellant does not take issue with the legal principles as referenced by the trial judge. He does, however, challenge factual findings made by the trial judge and invites this court to reweigh the evidence. This court cannot do so: R. v. Oickle, 2000 SCC 38, [2000] 2 S.C.R. 3, at para. 22.

[52] For example, one of the arguments made at trial rested on the claim that Mr. Morrisson had been induced to make a statement because of police threats to prosecute his girlfriend. The trial judge found as a fact that the relationship between Mr. Morrisson and the girlfriend was not such that Mr. Morrisson would feel any obligation to protect the girlfriend from arrest. That finding was open on the evidence and is not reviewable here.

[53] The other arguments challenging the ruling are similarly fact-based and also answered by the deference owed to the trial judge’s findings.


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Last modified: 27-09-23
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