Disgraced police officer James Forcillo is seen walking free on bail after being convicted of the attempted murder of Toronto teen, Sammy Yatim.
Laura Hensley of the National Post writes:
“Const. James Forcillo, 33, was granted bail Friday after he was sentenced on Thursday to six years in prison for shooting 18-year-old Sammy Yatim on an empty streetcar in 2013. Ontario Court of Appeal Judge Eileen Gillese ruled that Forcillo poses no risk to the public, and there is no risk that he would commit further offences.”
While outrageous to onlookers, it isn’t an unsual move according to law experts.
Hensley continues: “Criminal lawyer and Osgoode Hall law professor Boris Bytensky said that if someone isn’t believed to be a public threat, bail decisions are made on whether or not the appeal appears to be “frivolous.””
“If the appeal has apparent merit…or at least part of the appeal is arguable, then in most cases you’re going to get bail pending appeal,” Bytensky said. “The test really becomes one of considering the apparent strength of the appeal.”
Forcillo was charged with second-degree murder for the first volley of three shots he fired at Yatim on July 27, 2013, which caused the Toronto teen’s death, and attempted murder for firing another six. In January, Forcillo was acquitted of second-degree murder, but convicted of attempted murder.
At sentencing, Justice Edward then said that in letting loose a second volley of shots on the teen, Forcillo committed an “egregious breach of trust” and his sentence must serve as notice to other police officers.
In Gillese’s bail decision, the judge acknowledged that there has never been a case such as Forcillo’s, and took the manner in which he was charged into consideration.
“There is strength to the Appellant’s grounds of appeal related to whether the indictment improperly charged a single transaction as two counts and whether the verdicts are inconsistent. Having found this of sufficient weight, I need not express a view on the strength of the other main category of grounds of appeal,” Gillese wrote.
Echoing this stance, Bytensky said the appeal will likely be based on the Crown’s actions of dividing the case into two charges, which is “unprecedented.”
“They broke it down into murder for the first three shots and attempted for the last six. The whole episode spans 10-12 seconds, and whether or not you should be allowed to categorize the first three seconds as one event, and the last nine as another event, that’s a pretty important legal question,” he said.
“And I’m not sure that it’s an easy answer.”
Yatim’s death caused public outrage in the city after a cellphone video of the shooting went viral. Then cited the footage as “powerful evidence” that what Forcillo said occurred on the streetcar that night did not actually happen.
(Article by Tasha Sharifa)
The post Cop Let Out On Bail Only a DAY After Being Sentenced For MURDER of UNARMED Teen appeared first on Counter Current News.