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Ruling on the Appeal in Crown v. Napier

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Ruling on the Appeal in Crown v. Napier

 

Justice GRAY delivered the opinion of the Court.

 

Appellee, Edward Napier, is a well known member of Orenian Society who once served on the Council of State in the Basrid Administration. Since his resignation, he has engaged in certain immoral activities, leading to a reduction in his standing within society. While having a meeting with the Home Secretary, Mr. O’Rourke, he and his orc lover violently attacked Mr. O’Rourke, putting him in a fragile state. The orc was slain and Mr. Napier was arrested and immediately rushed to trial. Mr. Napier was charged by the Crown with Attempted Murder and  Assault, oddly enough failing to charge him with battery. Mr. Napier did not dispute these not the facts and thus they are not in doubt. Instead he claimed he was insane and thus should not be subject to the charges. The jury evidently did not find this defense sufficient and returned a guilty verdict, where he was sentenced to death. This sentence was suspended pending this appeal.

 

Mr. Napier again did not dispute the facts in his appeal, instead claiming two procedural errors that should render the verdict invalid. The two procedural issues contended are violations of the Legal Procedure Act. Here, Mr. Napier claims the act requires a subpoena and it requires one saints day between the charge and the trial. Oddly enough, the Crown has offered no reply, thus invalidating the need for oral arguments. This Court agrees with Mr. Napier.


 

The Legal Procedure Act states the following on invoking a criminal trial:

 

  a. The Imperial Government or a Provincial Government may summon an individual before the Court on criminal charges by submitting a Subpoena;

 

This is the only means listed in the bill, suggesting that the Diet intended this to be the one and only method for the Crown to invoke a criminal trial. No subpoena was submitted by the crown in this case, meaning the Legal Procedure Act was violated. Considering the lack of defense by the Crown and the already established violation, this Court sees no reason to examine the second issue raised by Mr. Napier. 

 

Furthermore, while Mr. Napier did not contend the issue, the court ought to address the applicability of the newly passed Double Jeopardy Act. An odd name for the act, which states: 

 

210.11A - Where an individual has been tried for a crime in a previous court of law, that individual cannot be tried again for the same crime. 

 

Mr. Napier has already been tried for the crimes of assault and attempted murder. If this Court were to remand or if we were to simply grant the appeal and allow the Crown to refile charges, it would require a second trial to meet its natural conclusion. That would seemingly not be in compliance with this act, thus while granting Mr. Napier’s appeal and overturning his conviction, this Court also finds that the Crown is unable to charge Mr. Napier with attempted murder nor battery related to the attack on Mr. O’Rourke. 

 

This is not a logical conclusion, but it is the conclusion forced on this Court by the Diet. The Diet has created a statute which would allow criminals who successfully appeal a conviction on a procedural issue avoid any criminal consequence. This is foolhardy and not in accordance with what most Orenian Citizens would view justice to be. But as long as this statute is in effect with its current text, this is how this Court will interpret it. Despite the injustice created by this statute, this Court’s duty is to interpret the law, not legislate from the bench. 

 

Mr. Napier’s appeal is granted, and he is unable to face further charges for assault or attempted-murder in relation to the attack on Mr. O’Rourke

 

Joined by: All


 

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Adler’s Assenting Opinion

 

I’ve opted to pen this today, in full concurrence with the opinion penned by Justice Gray. However, I must restate two quarrels for the purpose of clarity and elevation.

 

Firstly, to the House of Commons. A pork-barrel law, flashed through the Commons like cannon-shot, without proper consideration of the law in practice must now be considered and thusly allow a clear and dangerous criminal to go free. While it is no doubt, we could simply strike down parts of this law in order to serve a greater interest, we refuse to in order to maintain good, Republican process. Continue this course and I fear the Court would be forced into actions which would have to sacrifice this in order to protect Criminal Justice. You may see some further grievances in my complaint to the Solicitor-General below, but if you care not to read further, I beg of you to cease the useless pork barrel law and procedure forced upon our court systems.

 

To the Solicitor-General: I may only hope you justify your Ministry’s surrender in this instance to a higher power than I. While it is true, Napier’s appeal was right in many instances, you had an opportunity yourself here to fight some of this pork-barrel procedure which so overly encumbers your DUTY to uphold the law. You opted not even to create a proper legal debate before the Court. One may have surrendered while maintaining some of your grip, some of your ability to properly manage justice in your jurisdiction, to bring justice unto an entire circle of fellows for whom neither you nor I should give an inch of our trust anymore. May God forgive you.

Edited by wealthypiano

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Twentieth Imperial Diet

House of Commons

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A letter from the Office of the President of the House of Commons.

 

"To the Most Honorable Supreme Court Justices,

 

       On behalf of the House of Commons, we would like to thank you for bringing to us a concern raised in regards to the legal context and interpretation of the Double Jeopardy Act, that was passed in the 20th Imperial Diet. With the review of the Supreme Court and Justice Adler's assenting opinion both mentioning the processes of the Imperial House of Commons, it is deemed paramount that the Speaker do address these points, in which there seems to be a brief mis-interpretation in regards to the context of this bill, in which we would like to clarify.
       

        We would first like to note the difference between a re trial at a court versus an appeal to a higher court where a final decision is made. The case being appealed to higher court for a final decision, this being the Supreme Court, would be starkly a different scenario than if Mister Napier would be tried at a Circuit Court again after a verdict would be hypothetically given by the Supreme Court. The Double Jeopardy Act states "Where an individual has been tried for a crime in a previous court of law", which signifies that the court case, if contested, must have reached the Supreme Court and have delivered a verdict. Thus, the first "iteration" of the trial for an individual being "tried" wouldn't have finished until a verdict and judgement be made from the Supreme Court. The context of the lawful act of the Double Jeopardy Act would be instead put into place, if say, Mister Napier was sued again by the state, if the Supreme Court had already accepted his appeal for trial at a higher court and had already delivered a verdict. However, this is not the case as noted before, since Mister Napier's case hasn't finished its first iteration of appeal to a higher court for a final decision. It was upon this implicit distinction that the bill was formed and voted on, however this is not to say that the Imperial Diet cannot look further into this.

 

        Below this missive you will find the segment of the transcript where the context of this bill was discussed, in order to provide more background to clarify any other doubts of legal interpretation. Furthermore, we'd like to clarify that we are not speaking on the evidence nor speaking on who is guilty and who is not, rather simply clarifying the legal context that was pointed out from the Supreme Court towards the Imperial Diet.

 

Signed,

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President of the Commons"

 

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