By Staff Writers
Four years since his arrest, and with a body count of 63 women, Robert Pickton is charged with 26 counts of first-degree murder.
The trial, set for the January of 2007, will now be the first of several trials as a result of the judicial bombshell that was dropped by the B.C. Supreme court on August 10.
Court Justice James Williams stated the reasons for the decision:
“Proceeding to trial on the indictment as it is presently constituted will impose an unreasonable burden upon the members of the jury in terms of the anticipated duration of the trial, the volume and the nature of the evidence, and the complexity of the legal tasks that this case will require of them.”
Translated, the legalese means that if all charges were dealt with at one trial it would take two years for the trial to wade its way. No one, with the exception of Senators and the idle rich, could afford to take two years off from their lives to be part of a jury.
Chairman of the criminal justice section for the Canadian Bar Association Mitch Foster cited another problem for jurors involved in a lengthy case:
“For a jury to sit there for a couple of years, and at the end of it sit down and remember what was said two years ago by a certain witness they can’t even remember puts a challenge on the jury system that perhaps hasn’t been encountered before.”
The six women selected for the first trial are Mona Wilson, Marnie Frey, Sereena Abotsway, Georgina Papin, Brenda Wolfe and Andrea Joesbury. The women were selected because: “The evidence in support of those counts is materially different than that with respect to the others. One trial will proceed on those six counts; the balance will be tried separately.”
Most families were shocked and confused when they first heard the news, as most of them have waited years to find out what happed to their missing daughters, and having to deal with the reality that their child is another victim found at the Pickton farm. They now must wait even longer for justice in the courts.
Jack Cummer, the grandfather of Andrea Joesbury, had a different attitude about the trial. “If Pickton is found guilty of six killings and not 26, then justice will be done because he will be jailed for life.”
Perhaps, but if he is found guilty of all crimes, the families can move on and close a dark page of their lives. The media barrage that will follow the trials will surely expose the Vancouver Police for negligence and show the obvious fact that the same judicial system that is taking so long to bring Canada’s most brutal serial killer to justice must accept some of the responsibility for Pickton not being arrested until 63 woman were killed.