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R V Williams 1998
Transcript of R V Williams 1998
R V Williams 1998 "Facts"
Victor Daniel Williams was an Aboriginal who pleaded not guilty in robbing a Victoria Pizza Parlour. Williams claimed that someone else committed the robbery.
- An inclination to weigh both views or opinions equally.
Did Williams have the right to challenge potential jurors for cause to determine whether prejudice against Aboriginals might impair their impartiality?
Williams's appeal was allowed, and a new trial was ordered. The Supreme Court held that the trial judge should have allowed the challenge for cause because it would have created a fair trial.
The reason for choosing this case was to explain how racial biases can alter the situation in a court room dramatically, depending on the jurors.
Williams challenged that potential jurors for the racial bias under s. 638 of the criminal code. Which states a prosecutor is entitled to any number of challenges of that ground.
The trial judge found that the evidence supported the view “that natives historically have been and continued to be the object of bias and prejudice.”
The trial judge rejected the argument against that such bias was even enough to support “challenge for cause,” because there was no reasonable possibility that it would lead to partiality in the trial. Williams noticed that there was a possibility that the potential juror would be biased against an Aboriginal robbing a white person. Williams was convicted of robbery and was unsuccessful in his Appeal to the British Columbia Court of Appeal.
Significance of R v. Williams Case
The significance of the R v. Williams case is that Williams should have got to "challenge for cause" against the jurors. The defence and the crown both have the statutory rights to challenge potential jurors. This challenge also creates an impartial juror, giving the crown and the defence and equal opportunity to participate in its selection. It may also be an anti discrimination right under s.15 of the Charter.
- unfair bias in favour of one person or thing; favouritism
Alexandrowicz, G. W. Dimensions of Law: Canadian and International Law in the 21st Century. Toronto: Emond Montgomery Publications, 2004. Print.