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C.D. Evans

C.D. Evans on Weighing Moralities

“Thus it was that on a blustery winter day I found myself motoring to the Bowden Penitentiary north of Calgary in the company of Jack Marshall QC, a partner in the prominent Calgary legal mill Macleod Dixon, and one of Vern Myers’ Calgary solicitors. [Vern] Myers presented as impatient, irascible, and put upon. And likeable. He had been through both a physical and an emotional mill, he was suffering bad health and was in depleted physical shape. It was a bitterly cold winter, and in order to walk the three blocks to the visiting area his face had to be totally covered against the cold. I could readily see that he was afflicted with arthritis and shortness of breath, and that the closely guarded federal penitentiary was hardly a place to stick a sick old man. That said, I also gathered that he was treated with respect by his fellow inmates, some of whom watched out for ‘the old man,’ which is a godsend in a place like that.

“I seldom listened to my clients’ advice on how they should be defended. My usual practice was to tell the client to cower in the prisoners’ box and look repentant and apologetic and to keep his/her mouth shut; if I needed help I would ask for it. Meanwhile, hope that the courthouse burns down or the Crown witnesses die, preferably of natural causes. In this case, I had a very intelligent and canny client. I advanced the defence theory that his original conviction was unlawful, because his sentence was unlawful, and if it was unlawful, then so was his incarceration, and he could not be “unlawfully at large.”

Excerpt from Tough Crimes: True Cases by Top Canadian Criminal Lawyers
© Durance Vile Publications Ltd., 2014