Bill Williams wrote:
erasmus44 wrote:I used to think that there was something distinctly American about framing "street people" for crimes, disregarding their rights, and finding one of them "guilty beyond a reasonable doubt" as a kind of reprisal - even though the evidence would not support even a finding of guilt by a preponderance of the evidence. This case reassures me that we are not alone.
The time-period in question, was a civil-issue fairly unique to Toronto at that time; and not a general one across Canada. I am not 100% sure that the civic-political reality of Toronto played a decisive role in Nyki's wrongful conviction, but no one can deny that there's plenty of smoke in that regard.
The nuance to this case was why it was that of the four originally arrested, the three Americans were let go - they were basically unconvictable on the set of facts which emerged. The real question is: why was Nyki not also released at that point? It is my opinion that Nyki was just as unconvictable.
It's more than if the prosecution at her trial made a case beyond a reasonable doubt. It's also an issue in these sorts of confused melees that there may be also other scenarios, which could also be proven BARD on the same set of facts. The Ontario Court of Appeal made tantalizing reference to this, virtually incriminating Wooley in their denial of Kish's appeal.
Whether based on a political scenario which required one sacrificial lamb for the "panhandler" issue in Toronto, or whether it was a case which could be proven against ANYONE, Kish is not guilty and obviously not guilty. Top on the list of this is the way Nordheimer widdles down the participation of females in both fights to Kish and Watts. And even if that is true - which it probably isn't - there is no real compelling evidence that Kish transported Watts's knife
recklessly to the north fight, much less used it herself at the north fight.
There is equal reason to believe that other women were involved, not to mention that Nordheimer's stubborn insistence in thinking he knows Watts's whereabouts at all times casts equal doubt.
Yes, Canada frames street people. All the time, most of the time not within the criminal sphere.
Here's something I wrote for the Free Nyki Facebook Group as to why I think there very much was an agenda at work.
Is Nicole Kish the victim of a political agenda as well as a miscarriage of justice?
I believe this to be the case, and I reach that conclusion from the trial verdict itself. In this verdict, Justice Nordheimer explicitly concludes that Nyki was the panhandler who started the entire incident.
“He went to the ATM and, whether before or after using the machine, he and Mr. Hammond were approached by a female who asked for money. I am satisfied that the female who approached them was Nicole Kish. In that regard, I have concluded that Mr. Dranichak is mistaken in his identification of Ms. Watts as the person who approached him.”
Justice Nordheimer states that is he rejecting the evidence of the only witness to specifically offer an identification of the panhandler, George Dranichak, as not being Nicole Kish. He does this in spite of Dranichak having been the individual who was actually asked for money.
He then goes on to make one of his many unwarranted leaps of logic to create a fact not in evidence.
“It follows that if Ms. Kish was the person who was involved in the ensuing dispute, it was Ms. Kish who was involved when the dispute started. “
On this point Justice Nordheimer is not only rejecting the only testimony in the matter, and reaching an unsupported conclusion, he is also contradicting the Crown’s own narrative of the events in question, in which Nyki is explicitly not the panhandler but becomes involved afterwards. From the Crown’s opening remarks at trial:
“They stop at an outdoor green machine, TD green machine to get some funds. And there, they are approached by a woman on a bike, who wants some money. They refuse, and a shouting match ensues, and as they head west, additional quote "street people", join up with them, and one of which is Ms. Kish, the accused before the court, Nicole Kish.”
But for me, one point stands out above the others. There is nothing, neither in law nor logic, regarding the charges brought against Nyki that in any way depends upon her having been the panhandler. So if this conclusion, that contradicts the Crown’s assertions and the testimony of the only witness, is completely gratuitous as far as the law is concerned, why is it there?
To borrow Justice Nordheimer’s most infamous phrase, I find an “irresistible inference” that we are seeing the Agenda at work. Toronto had chafed for years under what was considered a veritable plague of aggressive panhandling. With Hammond’s death, a sensationalist media went into a frenzy of scapegoating, vilifying Nyki as the “Panhandler Killer”, while she and her family were barred by court order from responding in public. And so the Agenda was set, not just to prosecute Hammond’s killer, but to make an example of a panhandling street kid. Therefore Nyki must be the panhandler, regardless of the facts, as much as she must be the killer, again regardless of the facts.
Most take the phrase, “Crime must be punished”, to refer to the criminal. Alas, there are many in positions of power who view the institution of the Law more as an instrument of social control than as a means of obtaining justice. In this view, it really is the Crime that must be dealt with. Every incident of crime must be seen by the public to have been coupled with an example of punishment. Preferably imposed upon the actual criminal, but if the public never learns the difference, anyone will do for the social effect will be the same.
When the real criminal would otherwise escape, either because the authorities cannot identify or locate him, or because he is someone they are loathe to sanction for reasons of their own, punishing someone else becomes more important than leaving the Crime unpunished.
It is exactly this philosophy which must be vehemently rejected by all freedom loving persons wherever they may live. This rejection may be most keenly pressed against the authorities who warrant it by pushing with every legal, social and political means at our disposal to overturn such legal travesties whenever they occur.
While systemic reforms are desperately needed, we fight one case at a time. Nyki’s is one of the most blatant, and deserves our full attention.
"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." - Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan