Friday, October 14, 2011

It's not about the case, it's about you

In an article from Vancouver's Straight.com, the author explores the 2011 Stanley Cup riots in Vancouver from an interesting angle.

The author asks, in the title to his piece, "did police Chief Jim Chu roll the dice by choosing a former Vancouver cop to analyze riot evidence?" About an inch down the page, the author asks, "... but have the police handed a potential get-out-of-jail-free card to future defendants because of their choice of “expert” to analyze the evidence to be used to lay charges?" Notice that the author puts the word expert in quotations.

He goes on to say, "The police are, obviously, pinning their hopes for the future success of those charges on the reliability of the photographic evidence available, mostly video, with all of it being assessed at a lab located on the campus of the University of Indianapolis." Notice the implied question, is the evidence reliable? Why the question, you might ask.

In the author's mind, it's not about the evidence, per se, it's about the expert who worked with the evidence ... in this case Grant Fredericks. Again, notice the quotations, "The expert in question is Grant Fredericks. Coincidentally, or maybe not, he is a former Vancouver police officer now living in the U.S. and making a living as an instructor in video analysis and an “expert witness” in criminal trials."

He then launches into a rehash of Grant's CV before asking the following question, "will those lawyers, perhaps with experts of their own—maybe even the same experts used to discredit the testimony of Fredericks during the Braidwood Inquiry—cause an enormous traffic jam in the court system and perhaps get their clients, guilty or not, off the hook when it comes their turn to face justice?" You see, it's not about the riot. It's not about the damage. It's not about the case at all. It's all about the VPD's choice of personnel to coordinate the efforts at the LEVA lab at U Indy.

Is this the way the defense bar has chosen to behave? It's not about science? It's not about the case at all ... it's about the personalities involved?

So? This should serve as a warning to all of those who wish to enter this field, or those currently practicing. It's not about your case anymore. It's about you - the whole you and everything you've ever done or said. Be careful and guard your reputation.

Enjoy.

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