EDITORIAL: Failure of justice

There are many cases before the courts that leave one flabbergasted at the lack of justice being meted out.

There are many cases before the courts that leave one flabbergasted at the lack of justice being meted out. Such is the situation involving 80-year-old Gerald McDonald.

Last year, the North Delta grandfather died just two weeks after a vicious attack at his home. The octogenarian was badly beaten with baseball bats wielded by a group of people intent on inflicting property damage following a verbal altercation with McDonald’s son.

Two weeks later, McDonald was dead from a heart attack and a B.C. coroner makes no bones about linking the two events.

Coroner Kate Corcoran listed the cause of death as “homicide.”

She also said that “considering the facts of this investigation, it is reasonable to conclude that the September 20, 2011 assault was the cause of the cascading events that led to Mr. McDonald’s demise.”

So those responsible for the assault will be held accountable for the results of their actions, right?

Wrong.

According to the B.C. Criminal Justice Branch, only the findings from an autopsy can be used to consider homicide charges. In McDonald’s case, the autopsy report makes no link between the attack on the senior and his death.

This alone would be extremely difficult for McDonald’s family to come to terms with. But then this sucker punch: Assault charges in McDonald’s attack are also not being considered. Crown counsel does not believe it has enough evidence to win a conviction.

An often-used legal quote (attributed to Lord Chief Justice Hewart) notes that “justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.”

For Gerald McDonald, our system has failed miserably on both counts.

– Black Press