No Pickton retrial … for now
Serial killer Robert Pickton will not have a new trial, B.C.’s highestcourt ruled Thursday as it handed down a 2-1 decision dismissing hisappeal of six second-degree murder convictions.
Serial killer Robert Pickton will not have a new trial, B.C.’s highest court ruled Thursday as it handed down a 2-1 decision dismissing his appeal of six second-degree murder convictions.
The decision was one of two parallel rulings on the Pickton case by the B.C. Court of Appeal.
The ruling means Pickton’s case could be far from finished.
Because the decision was split, Pickton — who received a life sentence in 2007 without the eligibility of parole for 25 years —can automatically appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, the country’s highest court.
No decision has been made yet about a future appeal, said Patrick McGowan, one of Pickton’s lawyers.
“It’s a very long and complex set of reasons and that’s going to take some analysis before the next step is decided on … I don’t know how long that is going to take.”
Pickton’s lawyers were seeking a new trial, arguing that the trial judge made several mistakes, including an error in instructions to jurors during their deliberations.
Neil Mackenzie, a spokesman for B.C.’s Criminal Justice Branch, said Pickton remains in jail, but added the case is not over until all possible appeals have been exhausted.
The Crown had also appealed Pickton’s acquittal in the six counts of first-degree murder, arguing that it was a mistake to sever the six counts from the 26 that he was indicted on.
In the second judgment, the three appellant judges agreed with the Crown that a new trial would serve no useful purpose because Pickton is already serving the maximum sentence under Canadian law.