Criminal Appeal And Murder

November 28, 2022

R v F, 2019 ABCA 491

F. was convicted following a judge and jury trial of murder which factually involved a home invasion. Mr. F was sentenced to life with no parole eligibility for 13 years. Mr. F. had confessed during the police investigation, and that statement was lead as evidence in the trial, after a ruling that the statement was admissible.

Mr. Royer was retained after the trial for the appeal.

Nature of Application? The right to bail pending appeal.

The applicant must establish that: (a) the appeal is not frivolous; (b) he will surrender himself into custody in accordance with the terms of the order; and (c) his detention is not necessary in the public interest.


Mr. Royer argued that the hearing on the admissibility of the statement (the confession) was halted prematurely and therefore the trial judge errored in law.

The Court of Appeal Justice said:

Having considered the submissions, evidence, and applicable law, I conclude that the thoughtful, dispassionate, reasonable person would be persuaded that the continued detention of the applicant would undermine public confidence in the administration of justice. In this case, I find that public interest in reviewability of the applicant’s conviction outweighs enforceability.

Here, Mr. Royer’s client was released pending his murder conviction appeal because the ground of appeal suggested by Mr. Royer was so compelling that the Appellant had to be released.

Ultimately the appeal was successful and a new trial was ordered. The matter was then resolved by a guilty plea to manslaughter, and a sentence of 7 years was imposed. Mr. F went from a murder conviction with parole ineligibility for 13 years to a seven year sentence with parole eligibility at two-thirds of 7 years.

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