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Judge Denies Appeal Based on Juror Vetting

PRIVACY LAW

October 8, 2010

The Ontario Court of Appeals has dismissed an appeal by three men who claimed their murder trial was unfair because police and prosecutors conducted secret background checks on jurors, the Toronto Star reports. Justice David Watt wrote in Tuesday's 3-0 decision that there was "not a peep from a quintet of experienced defense counsel," on the matter and that the verdicts would not have been different had the defense been made aware of the vetting process sooner. The background checks elicited concerns from Ontario Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian, who said they violated privacy legislation. Cavoukian also asked the attorney general to create a centralized juror-screening process as a result.
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