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

  • North Korea calls Biden 'fool of low IQ' over Kim criticism

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of -- North Korea has labeled Joe Biden a "fool of low IQ" and an "imbecile bereft of elementary quality as a human being" after the U.S. presidential hopeful called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a tyrant during a recent speech. Source
  • SEAL's lawyer wants prosecutor, judge booted off murder case

    World News CTV News
    SAN DIEGO -- A lawyer for a Navy SEAL accused of murder wants military prosecutors and a judge removed from the case for their roles in snooping on emails sent to the defence team and a journalist in an effort to find the source of news leaks. Source
  • Jakarta governor says 6 dead in Indonesia post-election unrest

    World News CBC News
    Six people died in civil unrest that gripped parts of Jakarta on Tuesday night after the election commission confirmed that President Joko Widodo won last month's election, the governor of the Indonesian capital said. Protests on Tuesday by supporters of Widodo's challenger for the presidency, former general Prabowo Subianto, started peacefully but turned violent in the evening, forcing police to fire tear gas to disperse the crowd. Source
  • Growing number of House Democrats seek action against Trump

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- More Democrats are calling -- and more loudly -- for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump after his latest defiance of Congress by blocking his former White House lawyer from testifying. A growing number of rank-and-file House Democrats, incensed by former counsel Don McGahn's empty chair in the Judiciary Committee hearing room on Tuesday, are confronting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and pushing her and other leaders to act. Source
  • Wild chase of stolen RV ends with injuries in Los Angeles

    World News CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- A woman in a stolen recreational vehicle led authorities on a wild chase in Los Angeles on Tuesday, smashing into cars and a palm tree before finally coming to a halt with a large dog hanging out of the shattered windshield. Source
  • North Korea: U.S. should consider consequences of ship seizure

    World News CTV News
    North Korea's UN ambassador said Tuesday the Trump administration should consider the possible consequences that the recent U.S. seizure of a North Korean cargo ship could have on relations between the two countries and immediately return the vessel. Source
  • Duterte's allies dominate Senate race, shut out opposition

    World News CTV News
    MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine president's allies won a majority of the 12 Senate seats at stake in the midterm elections, official results showed Wednesday, while the opposition's shutout heralds a stronger grip on power by a leader accused of massive human rights violations. Source
  • Are life-sized murals, MVP chants, free meals (and winning) enough to keep Kawhi in Toronto?

    Canada News CBC News
    TORONTO – They've put up life-sized murals of Kawhi. Fans chant M-V-P over and over throughout the playoff games. Toronto restaurants are offering him free meals for life. The #HeStay movement has been gaining momentum – since day one, Raptors fans have been doing everything they can to keep Kawhi Leonard in the city for maybe, just maybe, one more season. Source
  • Police look at whether transgender women's deaths connected

    World News CTV News
    DALLAS -- The shooting deaths of two transgender women and the stabbing of a third are being investigated to determine whether they are connected, police in Dallas said Tuesday. No arrests have been made. Source
  • Protesters clash with Indonesian police after election loss

    World News CTV News
    JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Supporters of an unsuccessful presidential candidate clashed with security forces in the Indonesian capital on Wednesday, burning vehicles and throwing rocks at police, which responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. The protesters tried to force their way into the downtown offices of the election supervisory agency late Tuesday and clashes have continued since then. Source