The majority of Winnipeg murder cases are falling apart in court, either through discounted charges — which give killers a much quicker return to the community — or with no conviction at all.
A Free Press analysis reveals 80 people have appeared before a judge since 2007 to deal with a charge of either first- or second-degree murder. Those charges were laid by police, authorized by senior Crown officials and suggest justice officials believe the killing was a deliberate act.
Only 31 accused murderers were actually convicted of that charge, according to court records. Another 38 charges were reduced to manslaughter, which implies the killing was unintentional and ensures the automatic life sentence that comes with murder is taken off the table. A manslaughter conviction carries no mandatory minimum sentence.
The other 11 people walked free with no conviction through a stay of proceedings by the Crown, a discharge at the preliminary hearing or an acquittal by a judge or jury. In total, only 39 per cent of murder cases disposed of over the past five years have ended with a murder conviction.
Legal experts say those numbers prove many people are literally getting away with murder.
It’s “daddy’s day” and the family has made reservations at a nice restaurant nearby. This requires a 15 minute drive and therefore the need to post my afternoon “take” a few minutes early. I’ll be back to normal tomorrow. Have a good one everyone.