CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES - Right to retain and instruct counsel without delay - Remedies for denial of rights

Law360 Canada (July 22, 2022, 4:51 PM EDT) -- Appeal by the Crown from a decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal that allowed Lafrance’s appeal from his conviction for second-degree murder and ordered a new trial. The police suspected Lafrance, a then 19-year-old Indigenous man, might have been involved in a murder. A team of armed officers executed a search warrant on Lafrance’s home in the early morning. An officer awoke Lafrance and ordered him to leave the premises. He was taken to another officer who asked him to identify himself and to come to the police station to provide a statement regarding the murder. Lafrance was interviewed for over three hours. Three weeks later, Lafrance was arrested for the murder. He spoke with Legal Aid before being interviewed. Several hours into the interview, he requested to call his father to arrange for a lawyer as Legal Aid told him to get a lawyer before he continued talking. The police refused his request and continued to ask him questions. Lafrance eventually confessed to killing the victim. The trial judge admitted the confession evidence, finding Lafrance had not been detained on the day of the execution and the police were not required to give him a second opportunity to call a lawyer on the day of his arrest. Lafrance was convicted by a jury of second-degree murder. A majority of the Court of Appeal allowed Lafrance’s appeal, excluded the confession evidence for Charter breaches and ordered a new trial....
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