Judge who cried con­sid­ers re­cus­ing self

The Province - - NEWS - RON SEY­MOUR

KELOWNA — A judge who cried dur­ing a vic­tim-im­pact state­ment is in­ca­pable of de­liv­er­ing a fair sen­tence, a de­fence lawyer says.

Judge Mon­ica Mc­Par­land is also ac­cused of scoff­ing at the de­fence’s sug­ges­tion for an in­ter­mit­tent jail sen­tence and dis­play­ing an “over­all tone of bias” against a per­son who pleaded guilty to the sex­ual in­ter­fer­ence of a mi­nor.

“It is not ap­pro­pri­ate for a judge to get so emo­tional dur­ing a vic­tim-im­pact state­ment, pe­riod,” de­fence lawyer Jac­que­line Hal­liburn said. “Judges don’t cry in ev­ery sex­ual-in­ter­fer­ence case.”

But Crown prosecutor An­gela Ross said the judge’s ac­tions fell well be­low the stan­dard of mis­con­duct re­quired for an ap­pli­ca­tion of ju­di­cial re­cusal to be granted. “Even gross dis­cour­tesy does not amount to ju­di­cial er­ror,” Ross said.

As well, Ross said, judges are ex­pected to demon­strate “com­pas­sion and hu­man­ity” in the ful­fil­ment of their du­ties.

Mc­Par­land her­self will de­cide if she should quit the case and re­fer sen­tenc­ing to an­other judge. She in­di­cated that de­ci­sion will come be­fore the end of Au­gust.

Jeremy Melvin Carl­son was charged in 2016 with sex­ual as­sault and the sex­ual in­ter­fer­ence of a per­son un­der age 16. Carl­son, who is now in the process of tran­si­tion­ing to be­come a woman, sub­se­quently pleaded guilty to sex­ual in­ter­fer­ence of a mi­nor.

The Crown wants a jail sen­tence up to 20 months, fol­lowed by two years of pro­ba­tion. The de­fence sug­gested a 90-day in­ter­mit­tent jail term, to be served over 20 week­ends. Hal­liburn de­scribed the judge’s re­sponse to the pro­posal as a “short, sharp scoff,” but the Crown says no such re­sponse is audi­ble on court record­ings where it’s al­leged to have oc­curred.

Ross said none of the be­hav­iours as­cribed to Mc­Par­land meet the high stan­dard of proof re­quired for a ju­di­cial re­cusal.

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