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Montreal Gazette - 'This isn't an acquittal,' McGill law professor says

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Published: 6Jul2011

The nature of the jury verdict delivered Tuesday in the Guy Turcotte double-murder case "is very telling," a Montreal criminal lawyer who spent five years as a crown attorney said - echoed by a McGill University law professor. "We are speaking of 11 intelligent jury members," said Daniel Lighter, who has practised in the criminal courts for 22 years.

"We ought to be respectful of the jury's intelligence, thoughtfulness and the amount of time they put into reaching their conclusion," Lighter said, noting that the trial took 10 weeks. "If you had one or two jurors who couldn't live with it," they would have reported a deadlock to the court.

Law professor Angela Campbell agreed with Lighter: "Nobody was better placed to make the call than the jurors." Nonetheless, she added: "A lot of people are going to be dismayed by this verdict. . We cannot think of two more vulnerable and innocent victims. "There are going to be worries about precedent," said Campbell, an assistant professor of law at McGill and director of the McGill Institute of Comparative Law.