It’s true. The former AG got off.

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He did it!.  Bryant got off.  The man responsible for the Cornwall Public Inquiry’s flawed mandate and conflcted judge has wiggled his way out of charges of criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death. 

Yes.  It’s true. 

Criminal charges against former Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant have been dropped.  It’s taken about eight months to get to this point, but, for Bryant at least, a worthwhile wait.

25 May 2010:  Charges against Bryant dropped

A two hour dissertation will be given on the reasons why the special prosecutor concluded after all these months  that there was ‘no resonable prospect for conviction’ and the charge should never have been laid in the first place.  I look forward to reading the rationale on this one.  I personally have trouble thinking beyond One Big Happy Family.  

Family and friends of the 33-year-old cyclist who was killed must be devastated.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

(contact me at cornwall@theinquiry.ca)

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10 Responses to It’s true. The former AG got off.

  1. AbsentObserver says:

    You know I rarely disagree with any of your opinions on a number of matters, but I have to side with the special prosecutor on this one. I have been following this story since it happened and I was very curious to see how investigators would handle things given Bryant’s status and the high profile nature of the case. I listened to the prosecutor talk yesterday about the incident and the video of the altercation seems to support a basic finding: Bryant was behind the wheel of his car when he encountered the drunken, belligerent cyclist. At one point, there is contact between the cyclist and Bryant’s car, but not enough to cause serious injury to the cyclist. The cyclist then reaches inside the open driver’s side window of Bryant’s car and grabs the wheel. The cyclist hoists himself up onto the side of Bryant’s car and won’t let go. Bryant then begins to drive away in an attempt to get the man to let go of the wheel and get off his car. Instead, the cyclist holds on even tighter and tries to influence the movement of the vehicle. Bryant then stops the car which finally forces the cyclist off the vehicle. The cyclist is thrown in the direction of a tree and a mailbox and sustains injuries to which he later succumbs. If I was driving down the road and was approached by a strange man who was clearly aggressive who attached himself to my car and was trying to steer my car through my window, my instinct would be to get him off my car and get out of there. I certainly wouldn’t put the car in park and give the man the opportunity to harm myself or anyone else in the car with me. I know it’s hard for us to imagine anyone affiliated with the Ontario justice system might be innocent of any wrongdoing leveled against them. We are jaded in this province (for very good reason) but isn’t it possible Bryant acted out of concern for his safety and the safety of his wife who was in the car with him? I know for many people in Cornwall and other parts of the province who have had dealings with the justice system, Bryant is someone not to be trusted or at the least, someone to be skeptical about. For me, I try my best to look at the information placed before me and then try to determine in my own mind what I believe might actually have happened. There have been many times when I’ve believed guilty persons have “gotten away” with their crimes and I’ve often questioned the actions of the justice system and those who work within it. But there are times when I believe the right decisions have been made given the information placed before me. I’m sorry, Sylvia, but this is one of those times. Even the cyclist’s father said he believed it was the right decision. I think a jury would likely have reached the same conclusion.

  2. AbsentObserver says:

    Uh oh. This should add more fuel to the conspiracy fire … Bryant was represented in court by Marie Henein. Have at ‘er, folks.

  3. Sylvia says:

    That’s it, AbsentObserver, Bryant was represented by Henein.

    I watched Henein turn Jacques Leduc into the victim and Perry Dunlop into the devil incarnate. My observation on the latter is that, in that instance Henein was quite adept at piecemeal extrapolation, spinning the evidence, and deftly turning one convenient hypothesis after another into fact.

    She is quite adept. Witnesses in court at Leduc trial #2 were alarmed to see that she even had the Crown working with her to pillory Perry! Quite a feat I’d say!

    So, yes, today I read the reports of the day, and yes, I wonder what really happened, but as I do so I bear in mind that it was Henein’s work which got Bryant off, and, by the sound of things, it was Henein’s work which turned things around so that Bryant is the victim and the dead cyclist was the devil incarnate.

    Yes, it sounds as though there were drinking and perhaps mental issues with the cyclist, but…..??? Is that the whole story? And is that grounds to see the man killed so violently? And is it grounds for a former attorney general to flee the scene of an accident?

    I am having trouble with it.

    According to the National Post:

    many downtowners may side with, say, Yvonne Bambrick, executive director of the Toronto Cyclists Union. She showed up at yesterday’s news conference to persuade reporters to watch grainy YouTube videos that she said prove Mr. Bryant nudged Mr. Sheppard, provoking their encounter.

    Was that video part of Marie Henein’s evidence? If not, why not?

    Did the special prosecutor review that particular “grainy” video? If not, why not?

    Did Bryant say or do anything to provoke the cyclist? Did Bryant’s car hit the cyclist when, according to Bryant, the car lurched forward after a stall? The cyclist unfortunately isn’t here to speak for himself, but, if the car hit him that would surely account for the rage?

    Here’s a link to You Tube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFISP_PrhFo

    And another, with commentary:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAZXTQrPnF4&feature=related

    And eye witness accounts:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8UKQW225gI&feature=related

    It looks for all the world to me like Shepherd (the cyclist) was hit.

    So, I read the accounts in today’s paper, I watch the videos, and I bear in mind that Henien – who defended Leduc – defended Bryant.

    Soem may recall that it was also Henein who saw former hockey coach and agent David Frost acquitted on four counts of sexual exploitation.

    Heneien is what some might call a “damn good” lawyer. If getting off is the name of the game, Henein has the reputation for finding a way.

    I personally think the case should have gone to trial.

  4. Prima Facie says:

    Naïveté? Fair and balanced? Forming public opinion? Burning desire to express our opinions, etc.
    I believe many of us write blogs and participate in these forums for various reasons.

    Unlike “Absent Observer” (see above); I often disagree with Sylvia’s opinions. I am not interested in “kissing her butt”. She and I are quite aware where we differ and we do not placate each other to get by…..so-to-speak.
    “Fact” on the other hand; well, I believe I would have great difficulty changing the facts, unless of course, I had “the power and the position” to influence interpretations of the facts. And of course, if I had the “power and the position”, I would suspect and expect a large number of “blind-following, chicken-guts”, would believe anything I would have to say.

    Am I cynical? A media-savvy, homophobic, conspiracy theorist? Well, I have been accused of that before…..so, I guess this “post” is not worth a “pinch of coon poop”,…. as my “Old Grand Dad” use to say.

    I ask readers to contemplate. How are “dissenting voices” or those who question the word of “authority” painted in society these days? What about people who simply, analyze and investigate from the critical perspective? I ask, should we or must we, blindly follow and believe “the authorities’” rationale, relating to an event such as this unnecessary death?

    That’s it….why not let “the state” explain everything to us. “Spoon feed” us, employ us, pay us, fix our teeth, tell us where and when to go to see a doctor, etc., etc. (social mediocrity). Then we can sit back, on the “outside” and think “peaceful thoughts” and ways of how we can make “the state” see how “good we are.”
    A “special prosecutor” is a “special prosecutor”…..wherever he/she hails from you “meatheads”…..any idea how “the process works”. I am sure some of you do and you are counting on the rest of us being ignorant morons.

    Believe me people, the “path” we are following is not good…and not “for the greater good”.

    We will rationalize this mans death based on his drunkenness and past belligerent behaviours. After reading many articles and blogs, I come away with the information that this “cyclist” (strike 1), was a drunkard (strike 2) and he has a history of being belligerent. (strike 3)….guilty! He has absolutely no credibility….not even for being a living human being. Dear God, where have we gone as a society?

    I was in the City of Toronto when the event occurred. I suggest those listen to the reports Toronto radio 680 was providing about the “accident”, “negligent operation of a motor vehicle causing death”, “belligerent attack by a drunken, aggressive, cyclist”, or however you want to characterize it. I was following every minute of it.

    Was Michael Bryant given special treatment? Did he participate in toxicology testing….just to cover the bases so-to-speak, involving such a high profile person, i.e. Mr. Bryant.

    For the longest time, “the other occupant” in the vehicle was not disclosed. Nor was the fact of who was driving. But, “Absent Observer” knows it was Mrs. Bryant who was in the car…or, was that just a “report”….”rumour” or what exactly?
    Various other factors that would be disclosed, if the people involved had been other “John Does-Mary Smiths” or other “drunken, belligerent cyclists”, were also omitted…..oh yes, for months and after one or more postponements.

    Do any of you readers have anything in your pasts that you hope would never be disclosed, if you got into trouble. Especially if it could be presented to vilify you?

    Let’s take it one step further. 1) What if a person has a history as a drunkard and is also known as a person who gets into the occasional fight. 2) What if that person finds themselves in a situation fuelled in part by their own negligence and the negligence of others……..what if someone is killed?

    By the way, was Michael Bryant beyond reproach? It seems that way.

    It took me awhile to write this “posting” because I was attempting to count the many situations, people, places and things, I must avoid. I am now at 342,263 “situations”, people, places, things. You see, based on my previous behaviours, statements, representations, etc., and taking into consideration the fashion in which many people appear to form opinions,…..I believe many people could get an inaccurate interpretation of me, if a major problem occurs in any of the 342, 263 and counting…. “situations”.

    Let me make this perfectly clear: I am 100% convinced that if I had been in the vehicle that Mr. Bryant was driving, which interacted with Mr. Darcy Allan Sheppard and resulted in Mr. Sheppard’s death, the outcome would have been different. Let me make this perfectly clear: If I had been driving Mr. Bryant’s vehicle and with my minimal formal education, life experiences, interpersonal skills training and related, I am 100% convinced that the outcome would be different……..so, with the educational and experiential resources Mr. Bryant had to utilize, “give me a break”.

  5. Reality Checker says:

    I understand it cost close to $50,000 for Henein to hire a private investigator to basically dig up the ‘dirt’ on Sheppard. I would suspect that figure will become part of Bryant’s legal bill. Curious what Henein’s hourly rate was.

    Prime Facie – you got money like that to spend on a “damned good lawyer”???

    Wonder if Perry and Helen had that kind of money???

    It’s called – Two tiered justice!!! ONLY FOR THE RICH!!!

  6. AbsentObserver says:

    Okay, I’m finally going to express my opinion about a running theory consistently posted on this web site.
    You don’t need to know who I am, but be certain of this … I was there for EVERY SINGLE MOMENT of the Cornwall Public Inquiry, unlike the rest of you. At times, I know for a fact each of you were unable, for various reasons, to either be there in person or watch proceedings online. Be assured, I simply did NOT miss a single second of testimony … in camera or otherwise.
    Having said all that, I was there the day the judge suggested Albert Roy find a “damn good lawyer.” Here’s an excerpt from the transcript …
    MR. ROY: I’m not going to be foolish enough to say that I won’t seek legal counsel, but I feel that even if a lawyer told me I have to answer those questions, at this point right now I don’t believe that I would answer them.
    THE COMMISSIONER: Okay. Well, I can understand your feelings about that.
    MR. ROY: I’m saying at this moment.
    THE COMMISSIONER: Exactly. Exactly. And I don’t want you to dig yourself in on that issue.
    MR. ROY: I’m not.
    THE COMMISSIONER: Because I think if you go and see a lawyer, he may well tell you or she may well tell you that you don’t have a right not to answer, and what I want you to consider though is — and I’m kind of of the view that you might have to answer some questions, all right? But, but, I think if you have seen what we have done in the past to protect the names of alleged victims who don’t want to be identified, that there are some checks and balances and protections that I can offer to make sure that while we may need the names so that we can fully explore, we can still protect these people. So I think that there may be ways that we can accommodate both our needs, our need to know and your need to protect these people. So all I’m asking you is to keep an open mind and I can tell you that I’m going to make a recommendation to the Attorney General that your legal fees be paid. All right? Now, they would be on a reduced scale. So you can go and see a lawyer of your choice.
    MR. ROY: I’m on a pension. I can’t afford it.
    THE COMMISSIONER: And that’s exactly it. I understand that. So what I’ve asked you to do is go and see a lawyer, and if you have difficulty finding a lawyer, maybe you can speak to Mr. Dumais. He might give you a list.
    MR. ROY: Would I have to find a lawyer that’s — like what kind of lawyer am I looking for?
    THE COMMISSIONER: A damn good lawyer.
    MR. ROY: A criminal lawyer or —
    THE COMMISSIONER: A damn good one.
    MR. ROY: I realize that, but —
    THE COMMISSIONER: Sorry.
    MR. ROY: Is there a specialty in this field or something?
    THE COMMISSIONER: Someone who is familiar with solicitor-client privilege and privilege generally.
    MR. ROY: All right.
    THE COMMISSIONER: So somebody who might be able to give you some names, not that we’re recommending someone, but you understand —
    MR. ROY: I understand.

    I am sick and tired of the suggestion the commissioner told Roy to go get a “damn good lawyer” because the commission was going to try to something underhanded. If any of you read that transcript, or if like me you were actually AT the Weave Shed that day, or if, also like me, you might have actually SPOKEN to Albert Roy after he was finished testifying, I believe you would be of the opinion Albert was encouraged to seek out the advice of a “damn good lawyer” … which the commissioner also ensured would not cost Albert a single cent … in order to protect his interests while allowing the commission to hear the information which it was entitled to hear. I know it’s much more convenient for you all to consistently vilify the commissioner and everyone who wasn’t listed as a victim or an alleged victim at that inquiry. It doesn’t give me great hope for the future if you people are passing along to your children and grandchildren such blanket cynicism. Is it never possible someone on the side of law enforcement or the justice system might actually strive to do the right thing? And is it possible they might actually succeed? Funny how you’re so quick to praise judges and lawyers related to cases where an accused person is found guilty of a crime but you never support the decision of a court when an accused person is found not guilty. Is it never possible a person might actually be accused of a crime they didn’t commit? Are you all really that jaded? If so, I’m sad for you all.

    There you go, Prima Facie. No ass-kissing in that one, huh?

  7. prima facie says:

    Touchy! When I think about “damn good lawyer”, I only think about Perry’s situation. This is not the first time I have ever heard, “get a damn good lawyer.” Do “they” have a Hall of Fame for attending every day of the “CPI”?

  8. prima facie says:

    I guess you were/are really not an “Absent Observer” then…right! Oh…perceptions.

  9. John says:

    To AbsentObserver….I read your words, at the section where you wrote….”I was there for EVERY SINGLE MOMENT of the Cornwall Public Inquiry”, then carried on to say…..”Be assured I did NOT miss a single second of testimony…in camera or otherwise.”, I said to myself WOW this person truly cares and seems to have a stake in what is going on in the Weave Shed. I myself did have a real interst on what went on there, but could not possibly make it to the hearings at all times. I did get to the hearings as often as I could. So I reread your words again, and again, and again. As I reread your words over and over thoughts kept creeping into my mind as to who you may be. I remembered back to the times and that I was there and who was sitting there at the times that I was there. The problem that I confronted while doing this was that there were times when I was the only person in the hearings. I then thought…OK, maybe this person was watching the hearings at home. Then I thought…the problem with this is that during some of the times that I was in attendance alone, there were in camera proceedings which they do not broadcast on the web or cable tv. I did not start this exercise to disqualify your blog. I began it in an attempt to follow where you were at, and possibly try to understand where you were coming from. The only person that I could peg being there for EVERY SINGLE MOMENT-in camera or otherwise of testimony was the Commisioner himself.

    AbsentObserver I need to say to you that you in your own words have admitted to a crime, the same crime that Steve Parisien was charged and prosecuted under, (Obstruction of Justice) for speaking to a witness who was under oath. Albert Roys’ testimony was not completed the day that you admit to speaking to him, he returned to the stand after his wife Vicky testified. With this information that I now have, and that you admitted to;…Is it my duty “to turn you over to the proper authorities”, as they did with Steve Parisien? Am I jaded, cynical or otherwise disillusioned with our system of justice? YES!!!! Why? For reasons like you just admitted to, Steve gets charged and prosecuted, costing him thousands of dollars to defend himself for caring about Albert the same way that you cared about Albert enough to speak with him while under oath.

    I can say to you though AbsentObserver……whoever you are… I appreciate the time (however much) and dedication you put in to following the proceedings. Putting in that much time and effort tells me that you must have had some kind of personal interest in the outcome.

    John Mac Donald

  10. Sylvia says:

    I think I’ll weigh on this with my two cents worth and from yet another perspective.

    Absent Observer, you see conspiracy theorists where they don’t exist. Speaking from my grassy knoll (assigned to me in the Weave Shed) I really must ask: do you know what wry humour is?

    I got a chuckle out of the grassy knoll business. It’s so outrageously far fetched it’s funny. I was not insulted. I laughed

    I also got a chuckle out of the “damn good” lawyer line. True enough I didn’t chuckle at the instant Glaude mouthed the words – at that moment in time I was thinking of Albert who didn’t have a clue where to turn or what to do. In truth I recall being annoyed because I felt Glaude was making light of what was a very serious situation for Albert. What kind of lawyer to get?

    As you so painstakingly pointed out, the “damn good” lawyer line came from the mouth of Justice Glaude himself.

    I think it was an attempt at humour on the commissioner’s part – funny perhaps for those privy to the world and lingo of lawyers and laws and courtrooms and judges – not so funny I am sure for Albert.

    I don’t see anything sinister in Glaude’s advise to Albert. I did however think it was very poor judgement and bad taste on Glaude’s part to make light of the moment in such fashion.

    After the fact, I see it as funny. Wry humour. Glaude’s attempt at humour can be construed as judicial confirmation of both the increasingly commonly held belief that there are lawyers and there are lawyers, and very few would qualify as a “damn good” lawyer, and, more to the point, of the belief that justice is reliant not on the truth but on the skills of the lawyer.. It’s like saying that all animals on the farm are equal. If mounting a defence rests on deep pockets and connections and a veritable manhunt, then clearly all animals on the farm are not equal. They may think they are, but clearly those fortunate beings who have the means to retain a “damn good” lawyer are more equal than others.

    I now use the term “damn good” lawyer frequently. I always will. It’s become an integral part of my “legal” vocabulary, I will give credit where credit is due. Justice Normand Glaude said it I could have said it and it would have meant nothing. A judge said it. As far as I’m concerned that’s what makes it wry humour.

    For goodness sake enjoy the moment and a little chuckle here and there when it comes your way. Heaven knows we all need a few laughs when we wallow in this muck

    From my grassy knoll 🙂

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