Supreme Court ruling on Mr. Big sting gets mixed reaction
A criminal defence lawyer in Winnipeg is applauding the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling on so-called "Mr.Big" operations by police.
It calls for stricter rules on the way officers obtain confessions during those stings, in which undercover officers pose as criminals to draw confessions from suspects.
Winnipeg defence lawyer Greg Brodsky said the stings are not only wrong, but a form of entrapment.
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"Tell me your secret, no one will know and I'm gonna pay you money and hire you. So why wouldn't you say that [confession] — 'Sure, I did it. Yeah, pay me $80,000,'" he said.
The Supreme Court ruling on Thursday supports a 2012 appeal court decision that overturned the 2007 murder conviction of a Newfoundland man.
The high court said his rights may have been violated when he confessed about killing his two young daughters to two undercover police officers posing as mobsters.
Unlike Brodsky, Winnipeg-based victims' rights advocate Floyd Wiebe is disappointed in the decision. He is worried it could impact police investigations and nullify legitimate confessions.
"I don't personally believe there's ever been a case in Canada, where a person has given a confession on a Mr. Big [sting] unless they had information that only that person knew that led to their conviction," he said.
Brodsky said Thursday's ruling opens calls for reviews of all conviction cases in Canada associated with Mr. Big investigations.
"That's the process that we should go through right now. There are people that are still in jail who said that they weren't guilty, who need their convictions reviewed somehow," he said.