Supreme Court of Canada dismisses appeals in five jury-vetting cases

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed the appeals of five people who raised concerns about jury-vetting by police.

The high court said in three unanimous decisions today that all five had fair trials and there was no miscarriage of justice.

The cases stemmed from revelations that Crown attorneys were asking police in Barrie, Ont., to run background checks on potential jurors to see if they had criminal backgrounds or were otherwise "disreputable persons."

The Crown sought advice from police over the suitability of prospective jurors, including any potential bias.

Those opinions were not always disclosed to defence lawyers.

In a series of rulings, the Supreme Court says while the Crown shouldn't have asked police to run jurors through databases, doing so did not affect the fairness of the trials.