Canada: New Brunswick Crown drops prosecution of jail guards in death of inmate - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaNew Brunswick Crown drops prosecution of jail guards in death of inmate

19:00  03 july  2019
19:00  03 july  2019 Source:   msn.com

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+ A judge has dismissed charges against two correctional officers in the death of an inmate who was pepper-sprayed inside New Brunswick ’s Dorchester Penitentiary. The guards – 48-year-old Alvida Ross and 31-year-old Mathieu Bourgoin – had faced manslaughter and criminal negligence charges in

New Brunswick Crown drops prosecution of jail guards in death of inmate© Provided by Canadian Press Enterprises IncMatthew Ryan Hines is shown in a handout photo. (HO-Wendy Gillis/The Canadian Press)

FREDERICTON — New Brunswick prosecutors have dropped their case against two correctional officers in the death of an inmate who was pepper-sprayed inside Dorchester Penitentiary.

The guards — Alvida Ross and Mathieu Bourgoin — had faced manslaughter and criminal negligence charges following the 2015 death of Matthew Hines of Cape Breton.

A provincial court decided in April that the two guards would not stand trial after a preliminary hearing.

Members of Hines' family disputed a claim from the guards' union that decision exonerated the officers, and they suggested in a statement it should be appealed: "Errors in law are always reviewable by a higher court."

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However, the province's prosecution service issued a statement Wednesday saying it will not seek a judicial review from the Court of Queen's Bench, and has chosen not to have the case proceed directly to trial via direct indictment.

The statement said the only potential reasons for a judicial review would be if the provincial court judge had "exceeded his or her jurisdiction," and that didn't occur in this case.

The prosecutors said a direct indictment wasn't an option because there isn't a reasonable prospect of conviction.

The news release says there is a viable legal defence provided to the guards in Section 25 of the Criminal Code, which broadens their right to use force beyond those held by members of the public.

It notes that the Criminal Code says guards must be acting within the scope of their duties, act "reasonably" and not use "more force than is necessary."

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SAN JOSE — The case against three jail deputies accused of murdering a mentally ill inmate two years ago — leading to sweeping reforms of the county jails — is now in the hands of a jury who will decide whether the lawmen end up in the kind of place they were once tasked with guarding .

A judge has dismissed charges against two correctional officers in the death of an inmate who was pepper-sprayed inside New Brunswick 's Dorchester Penitentiary.

"The existence of a viable defence must be factored into the prosecutorial test of a reasonable prospect of conviction," says the prosecutors' release.

"While prosecution services initially screened the charges against Ross and Bourgoin and initiated a prosecution, this initial decision is always subject to reconsideration as a prosecution proceeds and as evidence is tested at the preliminary hearing stage."

Hines was serving a five-year sentence for crimes including robbery when he died on May 26, 2015.

— By Michael Tutton in Halifax.

The Canadian Press

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