Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Another misapprehension of evidence case

R. v. M.C., 2014 ONCA 307:

[31]    A misapprehension of evidence may refer to a failure to consider evidence relevant to a material issue, a mistake as to the substance of the evidence, or a failure to give proper effect to evidence: R. v. Morrissey (1995), 22 O.R. (3d) 514, at pp. 538-540. Here, the appellant argues that the trial judge made a mistake as to the substance of the evidence, and the mistake resulted in a miscarriage of justice.

[32]    Not every misapprehension of evidence renders a trial unfair and results in a miscarriage of justice. An appellate court must determine the nature and extent of an alleged misapprehension and its significance to the decision under review, whether a determination of admissibility or a final conclusion about guilt: Morrissey, at p. 541.

[33]    Where a misapprehension of evidence is advanced as a ground of appeal the standard of review applied is stringent. That is, the misapprehension must be material to the reasoning of the trial judge and must play an essential part in the reasoning process resulting in a conviction, not just in the narrative of the judgment:R. v. Lohrer, 2004 SCC 80, [2004] 3 S.C.R. 732, at para. 2. If such a material misapprehension is made out, it follows that the appellant did not receive a fair trial, and was the victim of a miscarriage of justice. This is so even if the evidence was capable of supporting a conviction: Morrissey, at p. 541.

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