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Navigating Defense Strategies: The Aruran Suthakaran Case Unveiled


Navigating Defense Strategies

Navigating Defense Strategies: Aruran Suthakaran faced charges for the tragic shooting of his best friend, Anik Stewart, outside a Scarborough bar in February 2018. Despite compelling evidence, including video footage, the jury faced challenges in determining the full sequence of events. Suthakaran was ultimately convicted of second-degree murder in March 2020 and received a life sentence with no parole eligibility for twelve years. However, he appealed the decision.


During the trial, the defence contended that Suthakaran was not the shooter, proposing instead that a member of a rival gang was responsible. Conversely, the Crown argued that Suthakaran intended to shoot another individual but accidentally hit Stewart. The key issue revolved around identifying the actual shooter.


On appeal, the defence argued that the trial judge's instructions to the jury on the law of lawful defence and accident confused the case. They asserted that these instructions undermined the primary defence that Suthakaran was not the shooter. However, the Appeal Court disagreed, maintaining that all viable defences must be presented to the jury, even if not initially raised by counsel.


Despite objections from both the Crown and defence during the trial, the judge instructed the jury on the defence of a third party and accident. The jury was tasked with considering whether Suthakaran acted in defence of his friend or if the shooting was accidental.


The Appeal Court upheld the conviction, affirming the validity of the defences presented at trial. It emphasized that the defences of self-defence and accident can coexist and must be considered by the jury. The court's decision underscores the importance of thorough jury instructions and the inclusion of all defences with an air of reality.


While the judgment offers a comprehensive analysis, it raises questions about the role of defence counsel in shaping trial strategy. Nevertheless, it serves as a reminder of the complexities inherent in criminal law proceedings and the need for meticulous legal representation.


This article provides valuable insights into the intricacies of criminal law proceedings but should not be construed as legal advice. It serves as a thought-provoking analysis of a complex legal matter.


Contact our experienced criminal defense team at Bhardwaj Law today to discuss your case and ensure your rights are protected. We're here to provide expert legal guidance and representation every step of the way.



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