Canada Potential jurors in Montreal murder trial being vetted for racial bias

07:05  11 january  2018
07:05  11 january  2018 Source:   The Gazette

Jurors ask first questions in Lac-Megantic trial

  Jurors ask first questions in Lac-Megantic trial SHERBROOKE, Que. - Jurors in the Lac-Megantic criminal negligence trial have asked the judge their first questions since being sequestered last Thursday. During their fifth day of deliberations today, the jurors requested a dictionary and clarifications on various judicial matters. Jurors are asking for clarification on the term "reasonable doubt." They are also seeking an explanation about the legal concepts of a reasonable person and a reasonable and prudent person.

When he was done, 12 of 14 jurors were sequestered to deliberate the fate of the former railway employees starting Thursday morning. Potential jurors in Montreal murder trial being vetted for racial bias .

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011018-1004_city_court_delays_3700© Dario Ayala 011018-1004_city_court_delays_3700

Potential jurors for a murder trial set to begin soon at the Montreal courthouse were asked a delicate question by lawyers on Wednesday.

The case involves Kwasi Alfred Benjamin, 32, who was charged in July 2015 with the murder of Nellie Angutiguluk, a 29-year-old Inuk woman originally from Nunavik. She was found dead on May 18, 2015, in Côte-des-Neiges. Benjamin is charged with second-degree murder.

As jury selection began Wednesday, defence lawyer Paul Skolnik asked each potential juror a question before they were put through the standard vetting procedure.

Jury deliberations start Thursday in Lac-Mégantic railway disaster trial

  Jury deliberations start Thursday in Lac-Mégantic railway disaster trial Jury deliberations start Thursday in Lac-Mégantic railway disaster trialSHERBROOKE — The three accused in the Lac-Mégantic railway disaster must be judged without sympathy or prejudice and without consideration of public opinion, Quebec Superior Court Justice Gaétan Dumas told jurors Wednesday in his final instructions.

In a 15-page survey, jurors were asked about everything from their racial biases to their NFL affiliation. Jury selection for the trial to determine Aaron Hernandez's involvement in the murder of Odin Lloyd began last week.

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“Would your ability to judge the case based on the evidence and without prejudice or bias be affected by the fact the accused, Kwasi Alfred Benjamin, is black and the deceased, Nellie Angutiguluk, was Aboriginal?” Skolnik asked each potential juror. The first few people put through the process said without hesitation that race would not affect their ability to judge the case purely on the evidence.

Superior Court Justice Michael Stober, the presiding judge in the trial, assigned two people who were in the jury pool to decide whether they believed the others appeared to be impartial or not. If one of the two decided the potential juror might be partial, the person was excused. It took less than five minutes for the first juror to be chosen.

The process where potential jurors are vetted for a potential bias is becoming more common at the Montreal courthouse. Stober asked the potential jurors to not be offended if their peers decided they appeared to be partial.

“Don’t take this as a statement on your character or integrity. It is a normal part of jury trials,” Stober said.

The judge wanted a total of 14 people selected to the jury, including two alternates who will be available in case any of the first 12 ask to be excused before the trial begins hearing evidence on Monday. By 4 p.m., eight members of the jury were selected.

pcherry@postmedia.com

Accused killers sought death benefits weeks after killing, court told .
Within weeks of Allan Lanteigne’s beating death, his estranged husband enlisted his Toronto lover to collect any financial benefits accruing from his death, a Superior Court jury has heard.The murder trial resumed this week with the prosecution calling witnesses to support its case that Demitry Papasotiriou-Lanteigne and Michael Ivezic killed the University of Toronto accountant for financial gain.The two men have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. Lanteigne’s body was discovered in his Ossington Ave. home on March 3, 2011, while Papasotiriou-Lanteigne was living in Greece. He was arrested the following November while visiting Toronto.

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