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

  • Plane caught in power lines after crash in U.S., crews work to rescue 2 occupants

    World News CTV News
    GAITHERSBURG, Md. - A small plane carrying two people got stuck in live power lines Sunday evening in Maryland, causing widespread power outages in the surrounding county as officials worked to extricate the aircraft and its occupants. Source
  • NFL free agent Odell Beckham Jr. removed from Miami flight by police

    World News CBC News
    NFL free agent Odell Beckham Jr. was removed by police from an aircraft before takeoff at Miami International Airport after officials said he failed to respond to requests to buckle his seatbelt and appeared to be unconscious, police and airline officials said Sunday. Source
  • Why anti-poverty researchers bristle at holiday appeals for food bank donations

    Canada News CTV News
    St. John's - Campaigns for food bank donations are a staple of the holiday season, but some Canadian food insecurity researchers say the appeals can be tough to swallow. Josh Smee, the executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador-based non-profit Food First N.L. Source
  • B.C. announces plan to license more internationally trained doctors

    Canada News CBC News
    British Columbia announced several new measures to bring more doctors to the province, amid an ongoing shortage of physicians and strained emergency departments. Premier David Eby says the province is tripling the number of seats in the Practice Ready Assessment program, going from 32 spots to 96 by March 2024. Source
  • B.C. to license more internationally trained doctors to combat physician shortage

    Canada News CBC News
    British Columbia announced several new measures to bring more doctors to the province, amid an ongoing shortage of physicians and strained emergency departments. Premier David Eby says the province is tripling the number of seats in the Practice Ready Assessment program, going from 32 spots to 96 by March 2024. Source
  • Infant among 7 dead in Italy landslide

    World News CBC News
    Search teams have recovered seven dead, including a three-week-old infant and a pair of young siblings, buried in mud and debris that hurtled down a mountainside and through a densely populated port city on the resort island of Ischia, officials said Sunday. Source
  • Mexico's Lopez Obrador leads massive pro-government march

    World News CTV News
    MEXICO CITY - Hundreds of thousands of people marched in Mexico's capital Sunday in a show of support for President Manuel Lopez Obrador, who before assuming the presidency had led some of the country's biggest protests. Source
  • Hey hey, there's some monkeys! Thai festival honours fuzzy residents

    World News CBC News
    A meal fit for monkeys was served on Sunday at the annual Monkey Feast Festival in central Thailand. Amid the morning traffic, rows of monkey statues holding trays were lined up outside the compound of the Ancient Three Pagodas, while volunteers prepared food across the road for real monkeys — the symbol of Lopburi province, around 150 kilometres north of Bangkok. Source
  • Walmart shooting claims teen, young woman, father, mother

    World News CTV News
    A 16-year-old helping his family. A custodian and father of two. A mother with wedding plans. A happy-go-lucky guy. A longtime employee. That's how friends and family described some of the six people killed at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, when a manager opened fire with a handgun before an employee meeting Tuesday night. Source
  • Iraqi PM: Probe recovers part of $2.5B embezzled from taxes

    World News CTV News
    Auger-Aliassime, Shapovalov give Canada 1st Davis Cup title Canada won its first Davis Cup title on Sunday, beating Australia behind victories from Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime. Source