The Crown has wrapped its case against accused killer Michael Rafferty, but his defence team has not said whether he will testify — a decision legal experts say is one of the hardest lawyers face.
Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping in the death of Victoria (Tori) Stafford, 8, who was abducted outside her school in Woodstock, Ont., on April 9, 2009. Her body was found in a farmer’s field just southeast of Mount Forest, Ont., in July 2009
Under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the accused is presumed innocent and is not required to testify.
And that means a defence lawyer must weigh a number of elements before deciding whether the accused should step into the witness box, says Edward Greenspan, who has defended high-profile clients including Conrad Black and Karlheinz Schreiber.