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Say What?

Court exhibit as shown on CBC news article

This is a somewhat disturbing story. Mathew Brown was a student at Mount Royal University in Calgary. In January 2018, the then 25 year old student was at a party. He had been drinking with friends. Brown, and his friends, then began taking magic mushrooms. According to his friends, Brown, who was characterized as usually beiing the life of the party, became introverted and restless. Near 4 in the morning, they saw him at the front door, naked. He then bolted out in the -20 C (-5 F) night.

He broke into the house of Janet Hamnett, who was sleeping at the time. Brown started attacking her with a broom handle. She suffered a number of injuries before escaping, in terror. The pictures above shows the injuries inflicted to her hands. She now has a permanent disability in her right hand. Brown was arrested while breaking into another house.

This case went through the court system and ended up in the Canadian Supreme Court. After earlier acquittals, lower down the court system and challenged, the Supreme Court confirmed the acquittal. The court ruled that the defence of self-induced extreme intoxication is available in cases of violence. ooo kkkk.

The Court considered that this was a case of extreme intoxication to the point of automatism, that being, unconscious involuntary behaviour. The Court, while making this decision, expressed their discomfort in doing so.

The legitimate goals of protecting the victims of these crimes and holding the extremely self-intoxicated accountable, compelling as they are, do not justify these infringements of the Charter that so fundamentally upset the tenets of the criminal law,”.

Furthermore,

“protecting the victims of violent crime — particularly in light of the equality and dignity interests of women and children who are vulnerable to intoxicated sexual and domestic acts — is a pressing and substantial social purpose.” 

The Federal Government is currently looking at and “digesting” the decision made by the Supreme Court. They better act fast because sure as heck, more and more perpetrators are going to use this defence.

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