Jury selection questioned in Docks nightclub case

From the Toronto Star

Jul 01, 2009 04:30 AM


On the day a man was to be sentenced for a high-profile Toronto murder, a defence lawyer began raising questions about how the jury was selected.

Colin Adams, lawyer for Jeffrey Tuck, wants the Crown to disclose how it got a list of prospective jurors who had "contact" with police.

It is the first allegation of jury selection irregularities in Toronto.

Critics denounced Barrie and Windsor prosecutors for having police perform secret background checks on jury candidates, uncovering minor offences and mental-health histories. Ontario’s privacy commissioner is investigating.

In March, a jury convicted Tuck, 27, of second-degree murder in the stabbing of Mohawk College student Salim Jabaji during a February 2001 rave at The Docks nightclub.

It was Tuck’s second trial; the Crown successfully appealed his 2005 acquittal in the first trial.

"We are saying we got the wrong jury," Adams told Ontario Superior Court Justice Maureen Forestell yesterday.

Adams said that at the beginning of this trial, the Crown gave the defence two lists of prospective jurors, with those who "had contact" with police highlighted.

"At the time we had no reason to think anything of it," he said.

In light of the recent controversy, Adams said the defence reviewed the list of prospective jurors they have and grew suspicious that about 10 per cent were highlighted.

Adams wants the Crown to disclose all correspondence on the checks, names of police forces involved and which databases were used. He also asked the Crown to declare what information was requested and by whom.

Prosecutor James Cavanagh said the Crown held nothing back.

The judge ruled she didn’t have jurisdiction to deal with the matter, telling Adams to go to the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Adams later told reporters if he finds irregularities, he will appeal Tuck’s conviction.



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