A hearing on an appeal in the Supreme Court of Canada, from a judgment delivered in the Court of Appeal of British Columbia. Victor Daniel Williams (Appellant) v. Her Majesty the Queen (Respondent). An appeal was delivered by McLachlin J. The case of R.
v. Williams commenced in October 1993 after Victor Daniel Williams, an aboriginal man was charged with robbery of a Victoria pizza parlor. Williams case was filed in the court where he pleaded not guilty and chose trial by a judge and jury. In his defense, Williams claimed that someone else other than he committed the robbery. At the beginning of the trial, Williams requested to challenge the jurors of his case for racial bias under the criminal code R.S.C.
, 1985. C. C-46, s. 638 which states that “an accused is entitled to any number of challenges on the grounds that a juror is not indifferent between the Queen and the accused. As such, the first trial judge, Hutchinson J. ruled that Williams had met all the requirements and allowed the potential jurors to be challenged and questioned. The Crown the applied for a mistrial on the grounds of procedural errors involving unfortunate publicity of the section of the jurors.
Williams claimed that the Crown was seeking a new trial to reverse the case ruling, but these claims were refuted by the trial judge who declared that Williams’ claim was unlikely to happen. During the second trial, Williams filed a motion permitting him to challenge the jurors once again, and this time, his plea was heard y trial judge Esson C.J. The judge acknowledged the evidence that the natives had for a long time been the object of racial bias and prejudice. However, the judge rejected the judge refuted the claims that there was a widespread bias among the jurors since the jurors are expected to be impartial and to avoid any bias of opinions. The presiding judge Vickers J.
dismissed the renewed application to challenge the jurors and avoided mentioning to the jury in the opening and closing statements that it should disregard any bias that they might have felt towards Williams for being a native. Finally, the jury convicted Williams.