Re: What happened to drunk-driving charges against driver who killed New Westminster's Olivia Malcom? Record News
Regardless of what happens in the sentencing phase ahead, a grim injustice has already occurred. The Malcom family has been let down horribly by the lack of information from Crown counsel.
The drastically reduced charges need to be explained. It should be explained publicly, to enlighten us all - but primarily all of the people who know the Malcom family and knew their totally innocent loved one, the victim Olivia.
The fact it took more than a year to approve impaired charges is a staggering one, but to have the charges reduced dramatically - to no longer allege impaired driving - is nearly unbelievable. As noted in the article, the Crown has to meet a high threshold to approve charges.
Indeed, the conviction rate in B.C. is high due to the Crown's carefulness of seeking charges that are likely to result in a conviction. And when a massive change occurs, it must be explained. It must be, as clearly there is a reason. That reason needs to be indicated for the public, and it should be explained fully for the Malcom family.
Sadly - and unnecessarily - they are re-victimized by this terrible crash and the anguish they are put through by the appalling lack of clarity and lack of assistance, both of which they need and deserve.
I worked for a justice-aimed association in B.C. for many years, and I spent many more years volunteering as an advocate for victims of violent crime. Some things within the system have gotten better over the years, but this recent development is both shocking and sad, and it should be remedied without delay.
The Malcom family deserves fairness, fair play and an appropriate level of care. It is far too tough for families going through the legal system, as they learn that they do not have a lawyer, but instead must rely upon the Crown, to act for the state, for the big picture of justice. They deserve every piece of information with regard to how charges were altered in a devastating way, after such a long wait for a trial that is now likely not to come, but rather will end with only a sentencing phase of a drastically reduced charge.
Justice demands far better for the Malcom family.
Ben Doyle, New Westminster