BY JOSH KENNEDY
In 2008, Nicole Ryan, a teacher living in Nova Scotia, tried to hire a hit man to murder her husband. The hit man turned out to be an undercover RCMP agent who had Ryan arrested for counselling to commit murder.
During the trial in 2009, Ryan told the court that she feared for her life because her husband had been abusing her, and that the RCMP did nothing when she asked for their help.
The undercover agent who Ryan met said she never mentioned being abused, instead saying she wanted her husband dead so she could inherit the three properties he owned and his $500,000 military pension.
Many key witnesses were never called to testify, including Cpl. Chris Thibeaudeau who was the RCMP agent on the file. Ryan’s husband said he wanted to testify but was never called as a witness.
Ryan got off because the court thought that she had “suffered enough” and the RCMP and Ryan’s husband were labeled as the “bad guys.”
This is just one example of many legal mistakes.
Filmmaker Kurt Kuenne created a documentary called Dear Zachary, which was a video diary about his friend, Andrew Bagby, a Los Angeles lawyer who was murdered in 2001 by his girlfriend, Shirley Jane Turner. Turner was found not guilty. In 2003 she gained full custody of her infant son, Zachary, who was being taking care of by Bagby’s parents, and then jumped off a cliff with Zachary in her arms. After the incident, investigators found evidence that revealed Turner was mentally ill. One of her ex-boyfriends came forward and said after he broke up with Turner, she came to his house with a gun and threatened to shoot herself if he didn’t get back together with her. And she had eight restraining orders filed against her. This evidence was never brought up during Turner’s trial
Courtroom mistakes can also have innocent people thrown in jail. Michael Anthony Green was jailed for 27 years for abduction and rape before being found innocent.
The legal system is supposed to protect citizens and make sure that criminals get what they deserve. Instead, mistakes are being made and ruining lives. The justice system must be overhauled to protect both victims and the accused, and overhauled soon.
The views herein represent the position of the newspaper, not necessarily the author.