Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cool History: The Lazier murder trial to be reenacted

Robert J. Sharpe, former dean of law, former executive legal officer of the Supreme Court of Canada, is a justice of the Court of Appeal for Ontario and much admired within the Canadian judiciary.  He is also, in his spare time (!), a historian. His book The Persons Case (with Patricia McMahon) is terrific both on the case itself (are women persons eligible for appointment to the Senate?) and on its post-1982 impact on constitutional interpretation (that case produced the "living tree" description of the Canadian constitution, which today releases  -- is that a neutral descriptor? -- Canadian judges from being bound by the black letter of the text.)

More recently, Sharpe, a Picton, Ontario, boy, wrote The Lazier Murder about an 1884 Prince Edward County murder that probably led to a wrongful conviction and execution. It has much to say about 19th century trials, about the evolution of the right to appeal, and more.

Anyway, this is all to say that on Friday, July 11, 2014, they are re-enacting the Lazier murder trial in Picton courthouse, with Robert Sharpe in the role of trial judge Christopher Patterson (another Picton boy), and a slew of other legal luminaries playing the other participants.  Nice to know that instead of a reenacted hanging, the trial will be followed by County foods and wines.

Booking and details here via the Sir John A Macdonald Society of Toronto (Fair warning: the event is charitable, and pricey.)
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