Murder is the most serious crime in the Criminal Code. The stakes are high. An adult individual who is convicted of first degree Murder faces a life sentence without eligibility for parole for as long as 25 years. Murder is “first degree” if it is planned and premeditated, or if the murder occurs during the course of a serious offence like forcible confinement. An intentional murder that is not first degree murder, is “second degree” murder. The consequence of a conviction for second degree murder is life imprisonment without eligibility for parole for a minimum of 10 years. Murder can be reduced to manslaughter if the murder is mitigated by provocation or drunkenness. Youth sentences for murder are significantly less than their adult counterparts. However, if convicted of murder as a youth, the Crown may apply to have the youth sentenced as an adult.
At Kostman and Pyzer, Barristers, we have defended murder cases and attempted murder cases successfully. In 2010, our office successfully defended the perpetrator in R. v. De Oliveira. The defendant Mr. De Oliveira was accused of attempted murder after pushing two youths into the path of an oncoming subway train. Fortuitously, the youths managed to escape serious injury by curling into the wall of the track area. Mr. De Oliveira (“The Subway Pusher”) was found “not criminally responsible” by the presiding judge. The defence was a complicated matter involving divergent views from Crown and defence psychiatrists. According to the Crown psychiatrist, the defendant was a malingerer who was exaggerating his psychiatric symptoms. The defence psychiatrist was of the opinion that Mr. De Oliveira was suffering from a psychotic state in which an external voice was directing him to act, and at the time of the offence he was unaware that his actions were morally wrong. Mr. De Oliveira was committed to psychiatric hospital and is now living in the community.
At Kostman and Pyzer, Barristers, we pride ourselves on our resolute defence of serious criminal charges. It takes effective counsel to formulate and advance a complicated psychiatric defence. Murder cases should be only handled by experienced defence lawyers with a significant track record. At Kostman and Pyzer, Barristers we have proven ourselves as skilled advocates in this area of the law as well as in break and enter charges. We have a reputation for success, and strong results!