17 mars 2008


Centre d'archives de la Gaspésie/Musée de la Gaspésie. P123 Fonds Georges-Étienne Blanchard. Boîte 1.
Ci-contre, une photo montrant le couteau à usage multiple ayant appartenu à Richard Lindsey, l’un des trois chasseurs américains dont les ossements ont été retrouvés dans la forêt gaspésienne en juillet 1953. Quand Coffin est sorti du bois le 12 juin 1953, il a exhibé ce couteau à quelques personnes de son entourage, notamment à sa sœur Rhoda. Il disait l’avoir reçu en cadeau d’un des chasseurs américains pour le remercier de les avoir aidés à remettre en marche leur camionnette. Toutefois, dans sa déclaration statutaire du 6 août 1953, Coffin affirme ce qui suit : (ma traduction) « Les Américains ne m’ont donné aucun cadeau. »

À VENIR : Je vais vous montrer comment Coffin a aidé ces chasseurs américains. J’afficherai une photo de la pompe à essence qu’il est censé avoir remplacée pour remettre en marche leur camionnette. J’afficherai aussi une photo de la camionnette d’Eugene Lindsey, l’un des trois chasseurs américains.

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4 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit...

Difficile de croire que le jeune Lindsey a donné ce canif à Coffin, car c'était un cadeau de graduation et de plus un canif en forêt est toujours très utile.
Si Coffin l'a volé au jeune homme, car il dit ensuite n'avoir rien reçu des Américains, c'est que celui-ci était déjà mort.
Bon, ça ne prouve pas à 100 pour 100 cent que Coffin est l'assassin, mais c'est tentant de le penser et c'est ce que le jury a sûrement pensé.

Anonyme a dit...

Mr. Clement Fortin,
I think that you should clear something up for the sake of your readers and commenters.
You once stated that Mr. Coffin was charged with three murders, and then someone questioned that and you revised it to the fact that he was only charged with young Linseys murder which is accurate, and you have gone on to state that by the criminal code a person can only be charged with one murder.
On the Stoddard online page mr. Stoddard states that one can be charged with multiple murders and he outlines the conditions as to how this is done.
My question to you sir, "is mr. Stoddard correct or are you?" I suspect that Mr. Stoddard is correct but at the same time you should be prepared to admit it when you give out false information because you are a very famous law proffessor and I am sure you do not make statements such as this without reason.
I expect to see your reply to my question as my neighbor is wondering about this as well.

Clément Fortin a dit...

I am sorry for not having answered your question sooner. I took advantage of the Easter holiday to take some time off. First, let me remind you that, on this blog, I am only concerned with Regina vs. Wilbert Coffin. Therefore, the relevant criminal law applicable to the Coffin case dates back to the early 1950’s. The Canadian Criminal Code has since been amended several times. I have asked my law librarian to make available to me the old Canadian Criminal Codes. As soon as I receive them, I shall answer more fully your question and give you the relevant references.

Clément Fortin a dit...

I just received a stack of criminal law books from my bar library. Here is the criminal law that was applicable when Coffin trial was heard in 1953 and 1954. Since our criminal law draws its origin from England, I quote briefly what happened in that country on this same subject. It has since been amended but I think it will suffice to quote from the ANNOTATED CRIMINAL CODE of a well-known jurist in Montréal the following: (which I have translated for your understanding)
From Irénée Lagarde, Droit pénal canadien, Wilson & Lafleur, Montréal, 1962, page 767
Section 499. (Only one count of indictment in case of murder) No count of indictment imputing an offence other than a murder may be joined in the same bill of indictment to a count of indictment for murder.
In England, it was – until 1957 – a rule of practice that a person accused of two murders should have two separate trials (R. v. Davis, 1926, 26 Cr. App. R. 95) But in 1957, with section 6 (2) of the Homicide Act, 1957, it was stipulated that no rule of practice would prevent to indict, in the same bill of indictment but on separate counts, two or several murders unless the president of the tribunal deems in the interest of justice that the accused should have two separate trials.
I also quote From Irénée Lagarde, Supplément du droit pénal canadien, Wilson & Lafleur, Montréal, 1967, pages 259 and 260 the following : (which I have also translated for your understanding)

R V. HAASE, (1965) 45 C.R. 113, 2 C.C.C. 56, C.A., British Columbia.
I is generally inopportune to join in the same bill of indictment two counts of murder. But the code allows to do so since section 499 only prohibits the junction of a count of murder and a count of an offence other than a murder. It is up to the discretionary power of the court to decide whether to examine the two counts or to ordain that a separate trial be held on each one of them.

Here is another quote from Irénée Lagarde’s Annotated Criminal Code, Droit pénal canadien, Vol. 2, 2e edition, Wilson & Lafleur, Montréal, pages 1342-1343:

518. (Only one count of indictment in case of murder) No count of indictment imputing an offence other than a murder may be joined in the same bill of indictment to a count of indictment for murder.
Origin: sect. 626 (1892); sect. 856, in part (1906, 1927;) sect. 499, Ch. 51 S.C. (1953-54)

In the case of Wilbert Coffin, the Crown chose to indict him for the murder of only one hunter. They apparently chose Richard Lindsey because they considered that they had a better proof against him.