By: Ashley Tam
R. v. Martineau (1991), 58 C.C.C. (3d) 353 (S.C.C.)
Facts: The appellant, Martineau, was convicted of second-degree murder under s. 213(a) and (d) of the Criminal Code but the decision was overturned by the Alberta Court of Appeal who concluded that s. 213(a) violated ss. 7 and 11(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and could no longer be in effect. The issue was brought before the Supreme Court of Canada whether or not the appeal court was correct in overturning the decision made at trial. On February 7, 1985, Patrick Tremblay and 15 year-old Martineau robbed a trailer and proceeded to kill the owners of the trailer, the McLeans. Evidence shows that Mr. McLean was shot after receiving a beating and Mrs. McLean was shot with a blanket over her head. During the shooting of Mrs. McLean, evidence was found that Martineau said “Lady, say your prayers”. Tremblay and Martineau left the McLeans in the bathroom of the trailer, drove Mr. McLean’s car to the Grand Prairie, and abandoned it.
Legal Issue(s): Does s. 213(a) and (d) of the Criminal Code violate ss. 7 and 11(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and therefore, no longer be in effect?
Held: The appellant was not convicted of second-degree murder under s. 213(a) and (d) of the Criminal Code as it violated ss. 7 and 11(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This decision was made by the Alberta Court of Appeal and held by the Supreme Court of Canada
Ratio Decidendi: (Lamer, J. and Dickson, J.) Section 213(a) and (d) of the Criminal Code defines culpable homicide as murder where a person causes the death of a human being while committing or attempting to commit a range of listed offences, whether or not the person means to cause death or whether or not he or she knows that death is likely to ensue. Section 213(a) of the Criminal Code violated both ss. 7 and 11(d) of the Charter:
7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and
Cited: Blair, Annice, Kathleen Ryan Elliott, Bonnie Manning, and Marcus Mossuto. "A Legal Handbook: Methods of Legal Inquiry." Canadian and International Law. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2004. 16, 39. Print. "R. v. Martineau, 1988 ABCA 274 (CanLII)." CanLII. N.p., 30 Aug. 1988. Web. 11 Sept. 2012. <www.canlii.org/en/ab/abca/doc/1988/1988abca274/1988abca274.html>.