Friday, February 15, 2013

A conviction based on a not overwhelming case may not be unreasonable

R. v. Bryan, 2013 ONCA 97 holds:

[4]          We conclude that on the whole of the circumstantial evidence in this case, the verdicts are ones that a properly instructed jury, acting judicially, could reasonably have rendered.  In particular, on this record, a properly instructed jury could reasonably conclude that the appellant's guilt was the only rational conclusion.  See R. v. Biniaris, 2000 SCC 15; R. v. Beaudry, 2007 SCC 5; R. v. R.P. (2012), 282 C.C.C. (3d) 435 (S.C.C.).

[13]       Viewed cumulatively, we are persuaded that these factors were sufficient to support the inference of the appellant's knowledge of the contraband drawn by the trial judge and his holding that the only rational conclusion was that the appellant, in some fashion, was "a party to Kulom's activities."  At the end of the day, while the Crown's case against the appellant was not overwhelming, there was an evidentiary foundation to support the convictions. In these circumstances, it cannot be said that the verdicts are unreasonable.

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