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  • When Murder is Job Hazard

    When a Murder is a Job Hazard:

    3rd March 2016

    On the 21st July 2014, Ron, Heather and I had a meeting with Deputy Assistant Crown Prosecutor (DACP) about his decision to stay the charges against Brian’s killer. At that time he asked me not to quote him or use his name – therefore the (DACP) acronym. Clearly this is wrong; it is not transparent; he is a public figure; his six-figured salary is paid for by the taxpayers of Canada (as of this writing, I don’t know what it is because there has been an injunction placed on revealing the salaries of all Crown Prosecutors in Alberta) 2; he acts in the public arena (our court system); and he speaks publicly to main stream media.

    He requested this because on the 27th June 2014 I wrote and published:

    Around 9:00 AM Friday, June 27th, 2014 (DACP) fired a scud missile into the Ludwig Camp.

    He called to inform us that the Crown was going to drop (stay) the charges against the man who threw the deadly punch to the back of Brian Ludwig's head in the early morning hours of the 26th August 2012 outside Swig's Pub, knocking him semi-conscious. Brian had been involved in a disagreement with this man’s friend that had ended and he was walking away when the accused threw a 'cheap shot' to the back left side of his head according to two witnesses at the preliminary hearing in April of this year.

    As Brian lay on the parking lot pavement, with his eyes fluttering, moaning and in cardiac arrest, this man and two of his cohorts stood over him screaming "you got what you deserved you f$@#&^*g a$@#&^*e". These 3 got into 2 vehicles and fled the scene of the crime.

    The (DACP) told us that the Crown was 'staying' the charges because of the contradicting testimony of his two prime witnesses at the preliminary hearing in April of this year. This contradiction is problematic, he said, and if this case were to proceed to trial, in all likelihood will not result in a conviction for the accused. He also said that there were at least 20 other people milling around who witnessed the crime but have not volunteered to come forward to testify. He also said in the event that one or more of these witnesses come forward, then the case will be re-opened. If not, within one year, the charges will be dropped entirely.

    The cost to take this to trial is very high and according to the (DACP), he thinks they don't stand a good chance of a conviction because of contradicting testimony. I should mention here that it is not the official duty of the (DACP) to win a conviction as the he stated to me.

    Crown Prosecutors are agents of the Attorney General. They are the “local embodiment of the Attorney General’s discretionary prosecutorial powers.” The general role of Crown prosecutors is described in the statement of Rand J. in Boucher v. The Queen: It cannot be over-emphasized that the purpose of a criminal prosecution is not to obtain a conviction; it is to lay before a jury what the Crown considers to be credible evidence relevant to what is alleged to be a crime. Counsel have a duty to see that all available legal proof of the facts is presented: it should be done firmly and pressed to its legitimate strength but it must also be done fairly. The role of prosecutor excludes any notion of winning or losing; his function is a matter of public duty than which in civil life there can be none charged with greater personal responsibility. It is to be efficiently performed with an ingrained sense of the dignity, the seriousness and the justness of judicial proceedings.1

    The (DACP) told us that he thought he had a 66 % of success in a court of law to obtain a conviction (which in a criminal court case is too low) yet the Crown’s own literature says “the purpose of a criminal prosecution is not to obtain a conviction; the role of prosecutor excludes any notion of winning or losing”. So which is it?

    Not being transparent and honest only breeds mis-information and contempt.

    There is an entrenched discrimination within our Canadian legal system towards One Punch Homicides. The jurisprudents (the judges and all attorneys) who work within the legal system can't seem to make an assessment of what category a One Punch Homicide falls into. They repeatedly ask the question 'is it a near accident or a near murder?' An example of this is the judge who presided at the preliminary hearing in April. At one point during the proceedings she referred to the 'One Punch Homicide' of Brian Ludwig as an accident. It baffles me how a punch to the head that causes a death can be deemed an 'accident'.

    What enables this type of thinking within the walls of the Canadian legal system? Many of these "One Punch Homicides' occur at or near a drinking establishment. Quite often, both the killer and the deceased are drunk. And there is a tendency to partially blame the victim for his own death.

    Because of this underlying discrimination, these learned people seem to place the manslaughter charge that is inevitably levied against the One Punch Homicide crime at the bottom end of the manslaughter scale. This manifests itself in several ways. First, sometimes a very light prison sentence is levied - example, two years less a day. Sometimes only house arrest is given to the perpetrator; sometimes time served; and sometimes, as in this case charges are dropped because of a technicality and the cost of a trial is very high.

    Says the (DACP) “too bad we don’t have a video of the crime.”

    It is every Canadian citizen's basic right to face your attacker in a court of law. However, that courtesy is not going to be extended to us.

    The end result of this 'stay' is that one man is walking away as an innocent man, unencumbered to enjoy the rest of his life.

    Innocent men are put in jail wrongly; the antithesis to that is that guilty men walk free.

    Brian Ludwig got to only live one-half a life.

    Ron, Heather, Mikita, Phoenix, Karen and I have been given a life sentence.

    The story continues:

    About 1:15 on the same day (27th June 2014) I received a phone call from Daryl Slade of the Calgary Herald. He opened this interview with “yesterday afternoon, (which was Thursday June 26th 2014) the (DACP) called me to tell me that he was going to ‘stay’ the charges against the killer of your son. What are your comments on this development?”

    I will let this piece of information sink in.

    You are right – the (DACP) called the newspaper a day BEFORE he called any of the family members to notify us of his decision to cancel the manslaughter charges. The newspapers were much more important to the (DACP) than were the family of the decedent Brian Ludwig. This (DACP) cared absolutely nothing for the victim; the case for him was a stepping stone. He did tell us that this was a big case for him. The fact that a man had to die in order for him to advance his career seemed peripheral to him – he has been promoted to Assistant Chief Crown.

    You know – sort of like a ‘job hazard’.

    Another example of the sickness that is pervasive within the criminal legal system in Canada is ‘secrecy’. There is way too much secrecy and hidden agendas within our criminal legal system. Other than youth trials and/or perhaps rape trials (if the victim requests it) all other trials should be open to the public (as they are for attendance) and should not be closed from publication. This is a direct assault on Freedom of Speech. Our court system should not be involved in censorship that involves ‘freedom of speech.’ As for the (DACP) requesting anonymity, he is sparing in a public forum, he/she has no right to be anonymous.

    At the present time, the jurisprudents who are operating our criminal legal system are answerable only to the criminals; the victims are shut out.

    We need to bring the humanity back into an inhumane system.

    Author: Angela Ludwig

    1 March 2017 Republished

    Sources:

    1 Alberta Justice System: https://justice.alberta.ca/programs_services/criminal_pros/crown_prosecutor/Pages/code_of_conduct.aspx

    2 Crown Prosecutors salaries

    http://globalnews.ca/news/1121921/albertas-sunshine-list-released-minus-crown-prosecutor-info/

    http://www.canadianlawlist.com/listingdetail/company/crown-prosecutors-office-677723/

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