N.B. judge to decide on Dennis Oland's request for bail

FREDERICTON -- It's rare for a defence lawyer to seek bail for a convicted murderer pending appeal - and even more rare for a judge to grant it - but lawyers for Dennis Oland are hoping their application will beat the odds on Wednesday.

See Full Article

Bail under such circumstances has never been granted for a convicted murderer in New Brunswick, and only 21 times in Canadian history.

"The standards are so high to meet the test that usually defence counsels don't attempt it, and they just let their client sit in jail pending appeal, and then they hope for the best on appeal," said Nicole O'Byrne, a law professor at the University of New Brunswick.

Dennis Oland, 48, was sentenced last week to life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 10 years for the second-degree murder of his father, millionaire businessman Richard Oland.

The elder Oland was found bludgeoned in his Saint John office in July 2011. He had suffered 45 blunt and sharp force blows to his head, neck and hands. No murder weapon was ever found.

In their notice of appeal, the defence argues that the verdict was "an unreasonable verdict in law and not one that a reasonable jury, properly instructed, could judicially have arrived at."

They ask the court to allow the appeal, quash the conviction and direct a verdict of acquittal or order a new trial.

Last week, defence lawyer Alan Gold told the Court of Appeal that bail should be granted because the grounds of appeal were not frivolous and should be judged on the merits by an appellate court.

He said there were questions of law that need to be reviewed.

O'Byrne said the best example is the brown sports jacket Oland wore the night his father was killed. Experts testified at trial the jacket bore tiny spots of Richard Oland's blood.

"Whether that was admitted or not would make a big difference in the outcome of the case," O'Byrne said.

She said Gold made the case that when his client was previously on bail, he met the conditions and proved he was not a flight risk.

"(Oland) doesn't have a former criminal record, they have 70-plus letters of support from the community, and family members have put up a $400,000 surety to guarantee his bail. That's unusual, that set of circumstances," O'Byrne said.

Gold argued that it would take months to prepare the written transcript from the trial, so it would probably be October at the earliest before an appeal could be heard.

But the Crown made the argument that it's not in the public's interest to have a convicted murderer released into the community unless there were exceptional circumstances.

O'Byrne said that's what makes cases like this so rare in Canada.

"Those 21 cases that they referred to -- the seven wrongful conviction cases were very high-profile cases -- and then you've got Robert Latimer and cases such as that. This is extremely rare for this application to have even been made," she said.

"It is up to the appeal court judge, who is hearing this application, to balance the interests of the accused and that of the public interest."

Justice Marc Richard is to deliver his decision Wednesday afternoon.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Price of gas reaches 151.9 cents per litre at some stations in Vancouver

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- Temporary relief drivers saw earlier in the pandemic may be a thing of the past as gas prices continue to climb in Metro Vancouver. On Monday morning, some stations were charging 151.9 cents per litre at pumps in the city. Source
  • Ethics committee summons Kielburger brothers to testify after they duck invitation

    Canada News CBC News
    The House of Commons ethics committee unanimously passed a motion today to compel the men behind WE Charity to appear before MPs to explain their role in the botched summer student grants program and answer questions about allegations of donor fraud. Source
  • Starting today, members of Parliament can cast votes online

    Canada News CBC News
    Members of Parliament will be able to start casting votes online for motions and legislation with a new voting app being introduced in the House of Commons today. Voting by app is expected significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to record yays, nays and abstentions from MPs participating virtually in parliamentary proceedings, said senior officials from House of Commons administration who shared details of the new voting process this morning. Source
  • Wrongful death suit filed on behalf of Daniel Prude's kids

    World News CTV News
    ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Attorneys for the five children of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died after being restrained by police during a mental health episode, announced a federal lawsuit Monday against the city of Rochester, alleging wrongful death and civil rights violations. Source
  • Queen, Prince Philip didn't make skin colour comment about Meghan's baby: Oprah

    World News CTV News
    MONTECITO, CALIF. -- Oprah Winfrey has revealed that while Prince Harry would not say who in the Royal Family made comments about his son's skin colour, he did share who hadn't. Appearing Monday on "CBS This Morning," Winfrey said Harry told her neither his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, nor his grandfather, Prince Philip, were part of conversations about Archie's skin tone. Source
  • U.S. Supreme Court rejects final outstanding election appeal from Trump

    World News CBC News
    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday disposed of the last of three cases brought to the justices by former President Donald Trump challenging his election loss, bringing a muted end to his futile quest in the courts to hold onto power. Source
  • Quebec records fewest COVID-19 infections in months with 579 new cases

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Quebec announced Monday that 579 more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the lowest number in months for the province. This brings the overall total number of infections since the start of the pandemic to 293,210. Source
  • How this business is helping Canadians cure their COVID rage, one swing at a time

    Canada News CBC News
    On a quiet crescent in suburban Ottawa, Grace Roswell is seeing red. Crowbar in hand, Grace is celebrating her 12th birthday inside the crimson-lined Vengeance Van, a rage room on wheels that shatters neighbourhood calm with explosions of glass and booming bass beats. Source
  • New COVID-19 cases in Ontario spike above 1,600 as stay-at-home order lifts in Toronto, Peel Region

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- COVID-19 cases in Ontario have spiked to levels unseen since early February as a stay-at-home order that has been in effect for weeks lifts in Toronto, Peel Region and North Bay. The province said Monday that it recorded 1,631 new COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours. Source
  • New COVID-19 cases in Ontario spike above 1,600, officials attribute increase to data issue

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- COVID-19 infections in Ontario have spiked to levels unseen since early February but the province says Monday’s case count is higher than expected due to a “data catch-up process” related to its case and contact management system. Source