RIGHTS OF ACCUSED - Self-representation

Law360 Canada (July 28, 2023, 12:33 PM EDT) -- Appeal by Kahsai from a judgment of the Alberta Court of Appeal that upheld his convictions by a jury on two counts of first degree murder. Kahsai was charged with the first degree murder of his mother and her ward in their home. Before his preliminary inquiry, he discharged his lawyer and refused to retain counsel. Kahsai insisted on representing himself for the entire proceedings. His behavior was extremely disruptive and he was often excluded from participating in the proceedings because of it. When he did participate, he advanced no meaningful defence. He was assessed by a qualified psychiatrist on three separate occasions and was found mentally fit to stand trial. A first amicus curiae (amicus) was appointed to assist with the jury selection process, and a second amicus was appointed to assist the Court to ensure a fair trial. Kahsai mostly refused to co-operate with amicus. Kahsai was found guilty. He appealed. A majority of the Court of Appeal found there was no miscarriage of justice and dismissed the appeal. Kahsai argued that the delayed and limited amicus appointment with an adversarial role in the proceedings tainted the perceived fairness of his trial. The Crown maintained that amicus could never be forced on an unwilling accused or appointed with functions that would undermine the autonomy of the accused to conduct their own defence....
LexisNexis® Research Solutions

Related Sections