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A Defence lawyer's perspective on issues in criminal law

Please be aware that all commentary in my blog is designed to promote discourse on a variety of topics.  Though I certainly do some research on the topics discussed and often offer my "two-cents", please keep in mind that nothing I say in this blog is meant to be taken as authoritative on any subject.  My comments are really just me exercising my freedom of expression for the purpose of offering some insight on topics related to the practice of criminal law. As with all topics of discussion, it is important for you to be critical.  If you need a defence lawyer, please call 403.452.8018 for a free telephone consultation or consult with an experienced Calgary criminal lawyer. Happy reading!  Happy watching!


Calgary Criminal Defence in the Age of Social Media

Tagged Criminal Defence Blog

June 10, 2015

A local Calgary retailer thinks it's caught a criminal and decided to play detective and prosecutor all at once.

While the drive to punish a habitual shoplifter is understandable, posting the picture of an alleged perpetrator online isn't as advisable. The Calgary Police agree.

"Although the act in itself of displaying an image of a person is not criminal, we do not advocate stores do that," said Const. Andrew Critchley.

"Calgary Police service actually operates a platform for retailers to lawfully share information related to retail-related crime," he said. "This program is managed by police officers and adheres to Freedom of Information and privacy legislation."

The problem isn't simply violating the privacy of an alleged shoplifter. It also denies all people in Calgary who are accused of a crime their recognized right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

The presumption of innocence is a cornerstone of criminal defence law, and is something the shop owners themselves would almost certainly appreciate if they were ever accused of a crime.

While publicly shaming people seems to be a popular online pastime, it has no place in criminal cases here in Calgary, and can only cloud the issues for both prosecutors and for accused parties and their defence lawyers.

Facebook might be tempting, but leave the investigating to the Calgary Police.

This entry was tagged Criminal Defence Blog and posted on June 10, 2015

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