Team Luka

This blog is an ongoing investigation into the case and trial of Luka Magnotta. This is NOT a place for hate and it is also not a place for misguided fan-love. We offer to you the "other side of the story" , since only one biased, sensational side seems to be reported in the media, as well as ongoing coverage of the trial. It's also a look into various thoughts on life. Can you handle life?

Anonymous asked: Just saw the Sex, Fame and Murder documentary... Once again false information has been published. They talked about while Luka was on the run he posted the video saying 'hi' to his fans... Seriously, almost all the info I've seen posted about LM by the media has been proven false. At this point how can we trust anything in regards to this case!?

Until the actual trial is in motion and the actual evidence and timeline is presented, documentaries and news stories can only regurgitate the same old existing info and misinformation that already exists.  So you can watch these so-called documentaries for entertainment purposes (if that’s your preference) , but not for actual factual truth.

MONTREAL - Jury selection in the first-degree murder trial of alleged murderer Luka Rocco Magnotta continues on Monday.
Here are some facts about trial judge Guy Cournoyer, defence lawyer Luc Leclair and Crown prosecutor Louis Bouthillier:
Cournoyer:
— Named to Quebec Superior Court in May 2007.
— Oversaw the case of Basil Parasiris, a Quebecer who was acquitted in killing Laval police officer Daniel Tessier.
— Previously practised as an attorney in Montreal for 20 years and best known for his role in several public inquiries, including the Gomery Commission on federal sponsorship.
— Will also preside the 2015 trial of Richard Henry Bain, the man charged in Quebec’s election-night shooting in 2012.
— — —
Leclair:
— Called to the Ontario bar in 1991.
— Has been Magnotta’s primary legal representative since June 2012.
— Is fluently bilingual and practises law mainly in the Greater Toronto Area.
— — —
Bouthillier:
— A lawyer for the past 28 years and a veteran Crown attorney.
— Is handling the Magnotta case on his own after co-Crown prosecutor Helene Di Salvo was named a Quebec Superior Court justice in December 2012.
— Has tried some high-profile cases in the Montreal area, including the first-degree murder trial of Adele Sorella, a mother who was found guilty of killing her two daughters.
— Recently prosecuted three men who were eventually found guilty of a double murder and attempted murder at an Old Montreal clothing boutique.

MONTREAL - Jury selection in the first-degree murder trial of alleged murderer Luka Rocco Magnotta continues on Monday.

Here are some facts about trial judge Guy Cournoyer, defence lawyer Luc Leclair and Crown prosecutor Louis Bouthillier:

Cournoyer:

— Named to Quebec Superior Court in May 2007.

— Oversaw the case of Basil Parasiris, a Quebecer who was acquitted in killing Laval police officer Daniel Tessier.

— Previously practised as an attorney in Montreal for 20 years and best known for his role in several public inquiries, including the Gomery Commission on federal sponsorship.

— Will also preside the 2015 trial of Richard Henry Bain, the man charged in Quebec’s election-night shooting in 2012.

— — —

Leclair:

— Called to the Ontario bar in 1991.

— Has been Magnotta’s primary legal representative since June 2012.

— Is fluently bilingual and practises law mainly in the Greater Toronto Area.

— — —

Bouthillier:

— A lawyer for the past 28 years and a veteran Crown attorney.

— Is handling the Magnotta case on his own after co-Crown prosecutor Helene Di Salvo was named a Quebec Superior Court justice in December 2012.

— Has tried some high-profile cases in the Montreal area, including the first-degree murder trial of Adele Sorella, a mother who was found guilty of killing her two daughters.

— Recently prosecuted three men who were eventually found guilty of a double murder and attempted murder at an Old Montreal clothing boutique.

Luka Magnotta murder trial moves to 2nd stage of jury selection

More than 1,600 candidates were screened, hundreds exempted from jury duty

CBC News Posted: Sep 11, 2014 7:07 PM ET Last Updated: Sep 11, 2014 7:07 PM ET

Luka Magnotta was arrested in June 2012, one month after the death of Concordia University student Jun Lin.

Luka Magnotta was arrested in June 2012, one month after the death of Concordia University student Jun Lin. (CBC)

The first wave of screenings for potential jurors in the Luka Magnotta murder trial wrapped up Thursday.

Magnotta faces five charges, including first degree murder of 33-year-old Concordia University student Jun Lin. Other charges include indignity to Lin’s human remains, publication of obscene material, mailing obscene material and criminal harassment of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and members of Parliament.

About 1,600 people called in to jury duty went through initial evaluations of eligibility this week.

Justice Guy Cornoyer immediately exempted those over the age of 65, as well as anyone deemed not bilingual enough.

Magnotta has requested an English trial, but evidence will be presented in both English and French.

Exemptions granted

During their screenings, candidates told Justice Cournoyer why they felt they should not serve on the jury — presenting health issues, religious beliefs or caregiver responsibilities as reasons they would be unable to take part in the trial.

Potential jurors were warned some of the evidence presented could be graphic and/or obscene, and many claimed they were simply not able to stomach this type of case.

Students with a full load of courses were given exemptions, and those with criminal records were deemed ineligible.

Some candidates requested exemptions stating that they had already formed an opinion about Magnotta’s guilt or innocence.

The case generated international attention and details of the case were widely publicized.

Lawyers will now go through the list of those still admissible and select 200 candidates, who will go through a more thorough evaluation process next week.

Fourteen jurors will be selected, though only 12 will sit on the jury.

Anonymous asked: Why does Lin family want evidence banned? I mean the video is still on the internet, and apart from that there's nothing else...right?

There’s plenty of crime photographs as well of the parts of the body.  I’d imagine those items would be the things they’d want banned.  May seem like nothing to most, but it’s very personal to them.

Anonymous asked: You should be part of the jury! lol at least then we'd get some kind of a fair trial

All the excuses and stupidity displayed by prospective jurors the last few days drives your point home even more!

The Litany of Excuses from Prospective Jurors

Let’s look at the pathetic and often times laughable excuses summoned jurors in Montreal are using in the case of Luka Magnotta.   Below is a cross section of sampled juror excuses used  (courtesy Gazette reporter Sue Montgomery’s twitter - @MontgomerySue )   any comments in brackets are not from the original sourced tweets.

- Last two women broke down crying, one saying she had been raped when she was 8. Both exempt.

- I’m not impartial at all, says one man. I’m convinced he’s guilty. Exempt

- “I’m here against my will,” says one man. “And the sexual nature of the trial disturbs me.” Exempt.

- “It’s not a crime to hang around with journalists,” judge tells man who tries to get out of jury duty because partner writes for Lapresse

- I can’t be here for 9:30 a.m. because I suffer from a sleep disorder, says man seeking exemption. Granted.

- Kidney stones

- How are you? judge asked. “Not well,” says man. It’s stress. I have tremors. I have many appointments. Exempt.

- I was married to one of your colleagues, woman tells judge. I suffer from incontinence. Exempt

- “I’m a public figure,” says man. “No offence, but what do you do?” says judge. “I’m a musician.” Exempt

- I’m only breadwinner in the family and don’t understand English.

- Personal trainer, single mom and not sure how I feel about the case. Exempt.

- Self-employed, travel, wife not working. “That’s pretty general,” judge says. “Can I have some details? What work do you do?

- My sister is getting married in Toronto, says man. Oh, and maybe I’m not bilingual enough?

- Man makes impassioned plea for exemption. “Have you ever considered going into law?” judge asks. Exempt

- Owner of small business in financial difficulty. “That’s fun,” judge says. “I think the case would be better, actually,” says man

- I don’t think I can do this because of my health. I get seasonal allergies. I take stuff for it. Exempt  (RIDICOLOUS!)

- I think my French would hurt the court. I could be impartial but…Exempt (WTF?????)

- I’m anxious, on medication and don’t think this is best thing for me It’s interesting but not for me. Can’t sit for long periods. NOT exempt  (Right on Judge!)

- How are you judge asks man. I’m happenin, man replies. Exempt. Will get another notice. Will it be green? judge: Can’t vouch for colour

- Taking HIV medication. Exempt  (???)

- Self employed renovator. My employees are basically mules and I have to point and tell them what to do. Exempt.  (Ridicolous)

- Full time student in social work. Otherwise I’d be pretty interested in being a juror because I have a background in psychology. Exempt  (???)

-  You have a request to make? No I want to be exempt. I’m sick with cough and cold and think it’s bronchitis. Losing voice. See you next week.  (Well, we got that one right!)

- When video first surfaced, I saw it. Judge: but that’s what you’ll have to do as a jury member. Exempt.

- A Dawson student with 2 night course says he’s too busy. Hardship doesn’t seem to be sufficient, judge says. Come back next week.  (good)

-  Woman working for Rogers; husband on contract; two children. Are you unionized? I don’t know. Exempt  (????)

- I’m on anti depressants, woman says and bursts out laughing. Exempt  (yeah, sure, want an oscar for that stunt?)

- High school principal has two brand new vice principals who can’t replace him. Exempt  (?)

- I work in a small office and don’t think it would be beneficial to my boss. It’s just him and me. Exempt  (tough shit)

- Not a Canadian citizen (so how did you end up on electoral list from which candidates are drawn?) 

I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Exempt  (ever heard of Immodium or Pepto Bismol, moron?)

- Can’t be objective. I have children the same age as the victim. Exempt  (you and millions of others)

- I have anxiety. Avoid large groups. But it’s only 12 people. The courtroom is big. You’ll get used to it.  (Got that one right!)

- Work for Montreal fire department, woman says. Am on call and what if there’s an emergency? See you next week.  (Nice try honey)

If I could be exempt, that would be great. I watched the video and work in the adult industry. See you next week.  (nice try again)

And on …. and on … and on … it goes.  P.S  the comments in brackets are not from the original tweets.

The Canadian Jury System is Flawed

Issues with Magnotta trial highlight history of Canadian jury troubles

By | Daily Brew –
Lawyers are having issues selecting a jury for Luka Magnotta’s murder trial.

Picking a jury for one of the most sensational murder trials in recent Canadian history is proving to be a little complicated.

It seems a lot of Montrealers are not keen to sit in judgment of Luka Rocco Magnotta, the 32-year-old former male model, stripper and porn actor accused of killing and dismembering Chinese engineering student Jun Lin in 2012.

Dozens of potential jurors from a pool of 1,600 have, so far, begged off for a variety of reasons, ranging from lack of fluency in English – the main language of this trial – to anxiety over the evidence or simple antipathy towards Magnotta.

Jury selection will probably take a while as the Crown and defence lawyers also exercise their challenges. There’s little doubt they’ll eventually find their panel of 12 impartial jurors and two alternates, but this case is an extreme example of the pressures facing Canada’s jury system.

[ Related: Luka Magnotta jury selection underway in Montreal court ]

Magnotta, originally from suburban Toronto, is charged with first-degree murder and other counts in the death of Lin, who disappeared in May of 2012 while attending Concordia University in Montreal.

Parts of the Chinese international student were mailed to the Conservative Party of Canada’s Ottawa headquarters, as well as the Liberal Party (though that was intercepted at a Canada Post sorting facility), and to two B.C. schools. His torso was found in a suitcase dumped in a Montreal alley and his head two months later beside a small lake in a Montreal park.

Magnotta was arrested in June 2012 after an international manhunt, that ended in Berlin, and flown back to Canada on an air force jet.

Experts have long fretted about the difficulty in finding juries representative of the community to try major criminal cases.

The lion’s share of criminal trials take place before a judge alone, most of them lesser offences heard in provincial courts. And the accused, in certain kinds of major cases, can elect whether or not to have a jury or allow a judge alone to try the case.

But very serious cases, such as murder, must be heard by a jury. Jury service is considered a civic duty of Canadian citizens, like voting. But as trials have become longer and more complicated, it seems more people want to opt out.

CBC News reported that in 2010, 7,959 out of 18,935 people summoned for jury duty in Quebec asked to be exempted and 6,029 were excused. The roughly 30-per cent dropout rate from the jury pool comes despite the fact Quebec has one of the highest daily compensation rates for jurors – $90 a day. By comparison, B.C. offers just $20 a day for the first 10 days of a trial, rising to $60 for cases lasting up to 50 days and $100 for anything longer.

“I’m always surprised at the large number of people summoned to jury selection who ask to be relieved of that duty,” Peter Bowal, a professor of business and environment at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business told Yahoo Canada News.

Bowal said many judges seem too liberal in their willingness to exempt prospective jurors for reasons of work. Employers are required to allow employees time off for jury duty, though not necessarily with pay. The yardstick for being excused is supposed to be that you are essential, but Bowal said that’s not often followed.

"I have seen what I thought were pretty weak reasons," he said. “I didn’t think that was the purpose of the legislation. If you look at it, it is more the exception than the rule.”

 Many people seem unwilling to put their lives largely on hold, sometimes for months, to sit on a jury. Bowal said some feel they’re too busy or simply don’t want to get involved while others are fearful of what they might be getting into.

Some may be spooked by the attention a notorious trial like Magnotta’s can bring, with batteries of cameras sometimes tracking jurors on their way to lunch. For others, the grisly nature of the evidence may be too much to take, despite our apparent desensitization by movie and TV gore.

Bowal said the problem is that exempting a large percentage of prospective jurors undermines the representative nature of the jury system.

“If people excuse themselves of that civic duty you get a much more narrow demographic representation on the jury,” he said.

The problem can be magnified in smaller communities, where the jury pool is relatively small, complicated by the fact that more people may know details about the case that may prejudice their judgment of the evidence.

After a judge has dealt with jurors who want to be excused, lawyers on both sides of a case are allowed a set number of pre-emptory challenges to potential jurors without cause. They may challenge others if they feel uncertain about their impartiality.

Lawyers in Canada can ask only a limited range of questions, rather than the grilling their American counterparts can perform.

U.S. jurors fill out detailed questionnaires the lawyers use to vet them, sometimes employing jury consultants who produce psychological profiles to help determine which way they might lean.

"Pretty much they have gone through the whole list before that process starts," Bowal said, referring to jury selection. "So they know X, when he is called, they know all about him and they probably have a position on whether they would like him or not like him on the jury."

The leaner Canadian approach probably results in a more community-representative jury, Bowal said, adding he’s never seen expensive jury consultants used in Canada.

Despite the frustrations, one veteran Crown prosecutor said her experience with jurors willing to do their duty has been positive. Pauline Donnachie said part of it may be that she works in Victoria. With it’s large numbers of senior citizens and government employees, there seems little trouble in finding available jurors.

“My experience has not been that we’ve had a lot of people requesting to be exempted,” Donnachie, who also chairs the criminal law subsection of the Canadian Bar Association’s B.C. branch, said in an interview. “It’s unusual but most of the time it’s a few people at minimum who ask to be exempted and they usually have a good reason.

“It hasn’t been, in my experience, a huge or significant block to find a panel in quite a short period of time.”

Donnachie qualified that by saying she hasn’t worked a really long trial, such as the Air India bombing case, which ran for more than a year, or the trial of serial killer Robert Pickton, a grueling case that began in January 2007 and ended the following December with guilty verdicts.

Donnachie isn’t sure tightening up on exemptions would be beneficial.

“There’s nothing worse than having someone sitting on a jury who doesn’t want to be there,” she said in an interview.

"If I was the accused, for example, I certainly would want someone who was paying very close attention to the evidence and very close attention to what the judge said in making the determination as to whether I was guilty or innocent.”

Donnachie said once sworn in, jurors have proven a diligent and resilient lot. She recalled one case that went in fits for months due to a lawyer’s illness, with sessions sometimes cancelled at the last minute. But the only dropouts among the jury were due to illness.

Despite the cynicism sometimes seen around jury duty, Donnachie said those she’s encountered take it seriously.

"I get a sense of that, not just from the attention that they pay in court, but also the questions that they ask and the attention that they pay to the judge’s directions, and the varying time it takes for them to consider the evidence and come back with a verdict," she said.

Luka Magnotta, seen in selected sketches, and court photos of Magnotta lead attorney Luc Leclair addressing the media, during the first two days of jury selection at Palais de Justice, Montreal.

How can we have a fair trial?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/luka-magnotta-jury-selection-gets-underway-in-difficult-trial-1.2757556

Luka Magnotta jury selection gets underway in difficult trial

As jury selection begins, a defence lawyer’s view on ensuring a fair trial

By Daniel Schwartz, CBC News Posted: Sep 08, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Sep 08, 2014 8:01 AM ET

The trial of Luka Magnotta faces some challenges to ensure he receives a fair trial.

The trial of Luka Magnotta faces some challenges to ensure he receives a fair trial. (Rex Features/Canadian Press)

Jury selection starts today in the Luka Magnotta case, with the court facing several challenges when it comes to ensuring he receives a fair trial.

The trial itself is expected to begin Sept. 22 in Montreal.

Magnotta faces five charges:

  1. First degree murder in connection with the death of 33-year-old Jun Lin in May 2012.
  2. Improperly or indecently interfering with or offering an indignity to Lin’s human remains.
  3. Publication of obscene material.
  4. Mailing obscene material.
  5. Criminal harassment of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and members of Parliament.

Selecting the jury

Jury selection poses the first challenge.

The case received extensive and sensational coverage in 2012, so much so that Magnotta was named Canadian newsmaker of the year by the Canadian Press.

A jury is supposed to decide the case before them based on the evidence in court, not preconceived views. Of course, this can be a problem with any high-profile trial.

One tool available during jury selection is what’s called ‘challenge to cause.’

Lawyers ask the potential jurors about their understanding of the nature of the case, based on media reporting and other sources.

Michael Lacy

Criminal trial lawyer Michael Lacy says in any sensational case, it’s a challenge to get a fair trial ‘but those challenges are met through various means the criminal justice system has developed to address those types of issues.’ (Donna Santos/Greenspan Partners LLP)

"You can ask them if they’ve formed an opinion about the guilt or innocence of the accused that would cause them not to be impartial, and therefore they cannot serve on the jury," says prominent criminal trial lawyer Michael Lacy.

Lacy is with the Toronto-based legal firm Greenspan and Partners LLP. CBC News spoke to Lacy while he was in Montreal, where he’s involved in another trial.

He says that like any sensational case, “There’s challenges here to getting a fair trial, obviously, but those challenges are met through various means the criminal justice system has developed to address those types of issues.”

Language issues

Language may be another challenge in this case. 

Magnotta, who was born in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough 32 years ago, has requested to be tried in English, as is his right under the Criminal Code.

But in this case his jurors are required to be bilingual because evidence will be presented in both English and French, reducing the number of potential candidates. That shouldn’t be a problem in Montreal, which has the largest potential pool of bilingual jurors in the country. Fourteen jurors will be chosen, but just 12 will sit on the jury.

Magnotta

Magnotta, 32, originally from Scarborough, Ont., is scheduled for an English-language trial in Montreal, with jury selection beginning Sept. 8. (Mike McLaughlin/Canadian Press)

However, before a juror is selected, the court will need to determine that the juror can “track and follow a criminal trial in either language,” Lacy says.

When a witness testifies in French, Magnotta will be provided with interpretation in English. For official purposes, it will be the English translation, not the original testimony, that matters.

Earlier this year, testimony was also gathered in France and Germany, so the trial may require additional translation.

Evidence may be graphic, obscene

The jury may also be presented with graphic and obscene evidence during the trial. 

That evidence may be hard for some jurors to stomach. This can pose problems in terms of a fair trial, since there’s the potential of prejudicing jurors against the accused because of what defence lawyer Lacy calls “that sort of visceral reaction to graphic evidence.”

"The Crown doesn’t just get to show horrible autopsy photos which may have the effect of inflaming the jury," he explains.

The court can control the way evidence is introduced. For example, in a case that involves severed body parts, an issue is whether it’s necessary to show them to the jury or if photographs are deemed acceptable. 

Another technique, Lacy explains, is for the Crown and the defence to present the jury with an agreed statement of fact.

As a defence lawyer he wants to ensure jurors aren’t “being inflamed by graphic or sensational allegations.”

Publication bans

Publication bans may be another challenge in this case.

Since Magnotta has opted for a jury trial, expect publication bans covering any evidence heard in the absence of the jury, including during pre-trial motions.

Although debating bans may slow the trial down — it’s expected to last about six weeks — Lacy does not anticipate this will be a problem. 

There have also been defence motions to limit the scope of coverage or forbid the public and media from attending proceedings altogether, but those attempts failed.


The family of Jun Lin, who died in Montreal in May 2012, has asked the court to ensure some exhibits are not made public in any way. Quebec Superior Court Justice Guy Cournoyer has yet to rule on the matter. (Lin Family/Canadian Press)

Jun Lin’s family wants the court to ensure some exhibits are not made public in any way. 

"Those exhibits should not be distributed or published or reproduced because they, in our view, represent obscene materials," says Benoit Lapointe, the family’s lawyer. "We don’t want this material to ever be made available to the public or ever be made accessible."

Mark Bantey, a lawyer representing several media organizations, told Canadian Press that his clients are in agreement with the family on some exhibits.

"Other exhibits are not obscene," Bantey said. "They may be shocking, but they are not obscene and they should be made public."

The judge in the case, Quebec Superior Court Justice Guy Cournoyer, has yet to rule on the matter.

Lacy says that granting the family’s complete request “would be highly unusual.”

He notes that the Supreme Court of Canada “has been pretty clear that the open court principle is an an important one.”

From his perspective as a defence lawyer, here’s how Lacy sums up the task: “Any case that received significant publicity, any case that involves sensational allegations, the real challenge for the defence is trying to have the jury adjudicate the case on the basis of the evidence that’s actually adduced and the legal instructions that the trial judge gives.

"If everyone does their job, hopefully justice will be served and he will get a fair trial."

Jury selection in Magnotta trial has begun

 
 
 
 
Jury selection in Magnotta trial set to begin Monday
 

Luka Magnotta is taken by police from a military plane to a waiting van in Mirabel on June 18, 2012.

Photograph by: SPVM , THE CANADIAN PRESS

MONTREAL — First a foot, neatly packaged and labelled, was delivered by Canada Post to Conservative Party headquarters. Then a hand and foot — badly decomposed by the time they made their way across the country — were delivered to two Vancouver schools.

For about a week, the news headlines were filled with increasingly gruesome details, as the mystery of the body parts unfolded. Another hand discovered. The head. The torso.

Interpol was alerted, sparking an international manhunt.

On June 4, 2012, Ontario-born Luka Magnotta was arrested in an Internet café in Berlin.

On Monday, jury selection for what is sure to be one of the most closely watched trials since perhaps that of killer Paul Bernardo is to get underway at the Montreal courthouse.

With both the Crown and defence weighing in, 12 members of the public will be chosen to determine the fate of the 31-year-old accused as they sit through six to eight weeks of disturbing evidence.

Luka Magnotta timeline

Magnotta is charged with the first-degree murder of 33-year-old Lin Jun, a Chinese national who was studying engineering and computer science at Concordia University. He is also charged with committing an indignity to a body, publishing obscene material, criminally harassing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other Members of Parliament, and mailing indecent and obscene material.

Like all trials, this one will be open to the public. But the Quebec Superior Court room in which it is to be held has fewer than two dozen seats, so an overflow room will be available in which people can watch on a screen.

It will be up to Superior Court Justice Guy Cournoyer to decide how to manage the expected large numbers of journalists and onlookers.

Anonymous asked: Almost time for the big dance... Even though I think we already know the outcome. It's impossible for a fair trial at this point. Looking forward to your updates! Thanks for all you do on this blog

Thanks for your comment.  Jury selection begins tomorrow.  Cue the circus music.

Anonymous asked: What are your thoughts on the whole Mark Marek case?

It’s an important case, and the whole world is watching.  It’s the principle of the matter that’s important, not the subject matter at hand.  Allow me to explain.  In the 1980’s, a punk rock group from California known as the Dead Kennedy’s, were put on trial because the inside sleeve of their album ‘Frankenchrist’ contained what some believed to be ‘harmful matter’.  In actual fact, it was nothing more than an illusionary piece of artwork from a European artist , that, in one sense may be interpreted as being a sexually explicit.  Regardless of what it meant, or what it was thought to have meant, it was ultimately dismissed.  But at a great expense to all involved, including the taxpayers.  Utter nonsense.

Flash forward to May 2012.  We now live in a world (whether we like it or not), where everybody everywhere films everything.  Good, bad, and downright ugly.  Security cameras videotape you legally, and even illegally, wherever you go.  Many websites have existed for a number of years that show what we now know as ‘citizen journalism’.  Some sites keep it clean, others have no censors.  Sites like liveleak and theync, stick to general material from all around the world.  You have funny clips, shocking clips, violent clips, war clips, but nothing too off the rails in the way of brutality as it usually gets removed.  Then a new breed of site came along, such as Mark’s BestGore site.  His wasn’t the first, and it certainly won’t be the last.  “Gore” sites offer more extreme videos and pics/news stories of mostly real life events that are, to say the least, shocking.  Many years before 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick became the world newstory it was, sites have hosted brutal murders, beheadings, decapitations and other violent depictions of war and human evil-doing.  The content of these videos are real live events that occured, often in public, occasionally in private, on a regular basis in other parts of the world North Americans are not in tune with.  I can remember seeing a new beheading video from Iraq weekly back in 2003-2004 when the U.S was bombing them.  I watched every one of them.  Morbid?  Maybe.  Curious?  Definitely.  This was a newer concept at the time.  Point, click, watch a murder.  Then the second , then the third, then by the 15th or 20th beheading, it was boring.  Voila, I am desensitized.

So when 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick came along, those of us desensitized characters weren’t very shocked by its content.  If you read the original comments on BestGore, or any of the other sites who were hosting it (and still are in a couple of case) , most people were critiquing the video on its presentation, lighting, and performance.  This came across as shocking to those people who still had no idea this world of gore videos existed.  People on the other side of the coin expressed shock, disgust and outrage at a video, that without them knowing it, wasn’t so much shocking as it was groundbreaking in the execution and motives behind releasing it (so some believe) .  In simpler terms, it was just another murder video, albeit more creative than most.  For me, I was still consciously aware watching it that there was a victim who died in all this, and that needed to be addressed legally, as does any murder.  How often are all the other beheading and decapitation and dismemberment videos prosecuted in Middle Eastern countries, I wonder?

So here we are.  Mark Marek runs a website that simply broadcasts real life videos sent to him by the original producers, or other site users.  Real life situations that occurred somewhere in the world.  In a street in Syria, in a desert in Iraq, or, in an apartment in Montreal.  Nothing new here.  Nothing illegal here either.  Let me ask you this :  If I object to a fast food restaurant in my neighbourhood because their food tastes like sewage and is proven to be very harmful to my health, am I allowed to put the owner on trial and have his restaurant closed and have him jailed?  Of course not.  I simply don’t go.  And if enough people don’t go, he closes on his own.  Same scenario here.  Don’t like a website or the content on it?  Don’t go there.  Some people like porn, some don’t.  Some people like violence, some don’t.  And boy oh boy are there ever some hypocrites out there.  Some pick and choose their offensive feelings.  A percentage of people out there have no problem watching humans be murdered brutally, but if you harm a cat or a rabbit or a sewer rat, they’ll hunt you down until you burn in hell for eternity.  Selective outrage.   Every commodity or idea has human interest or it doesn’t.  It’s accepted, or it’s rejected, or it’s both. 

Finally, the slippery slope has never been more relevant than in this case.  Corrupting morals would be such an open book we’d need courtrooms on every corner.  They’d have to build drive-thru’s.  I’m not kidding.  In 1967, Ed Sullivan told The Rolling Stones they were BANNED from singing their song “Let’s Spend The Night Together” because it was viewed as obscene.  Can you believe that?  He forced them to change the song to “Let’s Spend Some Time Together”. In another instance, on the same tv show, The Doors were told they could not sing “Girl we couldn’t get much HIGHER”, in their hit “Light My Fire” because that was obscene.  (They sang it anyways after agreeing not to, and were never asked back - boo-hoo).  The debate was ridicolous then, as it is now.  We’re just dealing with different mediums of the same concept.  No matter how extreme we think it’s gotten, it seems to always escalate to a new place.  Still, that doesn’t matter.  The concept matters.  Censorship.  That’s the pure evil.  Obscenity has been debated forever, and it will not go away.  Moral and Legal obligations are two totally unique entities and should always be treated as such.  Judges have to rule on these critical precedent setting cases by ‘the letter of the law’ only.  It’s not a debate.  I know where I stand (and where the silent majority stand too).  Live and let live (and ultimately die).

Jury selection in Magnotta trial set to begin Monday

 
 
 
Jury selection in Magnotta trial set to begin Monday
 

Luka Magnotta is taken by police from a military plane to a waiting van in Mirabel, Que., on June 18, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS

Photograph by: THE CANADIAN PRESS , THE CANADIAN PRESS

MONTREAL — One of Canada’s most publicized and shocking criminal cases resumes Monday when jury selection begins in the first-degree murder trial of Luka Rocco Magnotta.

Magnotta, 32, faces five charges in connection with the slaying and dismemberment of Chinese engineering student Jun Lin in May 2012.

He has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and the four others: committing an indignity to a body; publishing obscene material; criminally harassing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other members of Parliament; and mailing obscene and indecent material.

The case began with the discovery of a human torso stuffed in trash behind a Montreal apartment building in May 2012. Body parts then began surfacing in different parts of Canada — first at federal political offices in Ottawa and, later, at two British Columbia schools.

A video that purportedly depicted a slaying was posted online around the same time and was linked by Montreal police to the discovery of the body parts.

Magnotta is a native of Scarborough, Ont., who, according to police, set up dozens of Internet user names and maintained 70 Facebook pages and 20 websites.

As the case progressed, Magnotta was discovered to have left the country, triggering an international police manhunt that Montreal police said was the largest in which they had taken part.

Interpol became involved and Magnotta was arrested without incident at a Berlin Internet cafe on June 4, several days after Lin’s slaying.

He returned to Canada a few weeks later, escorted by several Montreal police major-crimes detectives aboard a Canadian government plane.

The proceedings have since wound their way through the courts, with the trial proper scheduled to begin Sept. 22.

The case involving Magnotta captured headlines around the world. He was named Canadian newsmaker of the year and news story of the year by editors across the country in 2012 in the annual poll of newsrooms by The Canadian Press.

During the preliminary stages of his case, court appearances generated a circus-like atmosphere at the Montreal courthouse. Even procedural hearings, which journalists rarely attend, were subject to extensive coverage by local and national media.

Magnotta’s lawyer, Luc Leclair, repeatedly tried to limit what could be written about his client while awaiting trial.

Motions were tabled to limit the scope of coverage or forbid the public and media from attending proceedings altogether. The attempts failed, however, with various judges throughout the process expressing confidence Magnotta would still get a fair trial.

Leclair has kept his public comments to a minimum since Magnotta’s arrest, but says his client returned voluntarily from Europe, choosing not to fight extradition.

“He decided to come back to Canada and to face the public in Montreal, in particular, who will be called to judge him…,” Leclair said in April 2013. “He came, personally, to face the court because he has faith in the Canadian judicial system.”

The preliminary inquiry heard from more than 30 witnesses from Montreal and elsewhere in Canada. In recent months, the court travelled to Europe to question witnesses in France and Germany.

Lin’s family have also expressed faith in the justice system and say they don’t want their son to be forgotten.

Jun Lin, 33, was born in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province. He realized a long-standing dream by coming to Canada in 2011.

In interviews with the media in April 2013, his family recalled how Lin had a comfortable life working in IT at Microsoft’s Beijing office, but had sought a move to Canada to study and to improve his life.

He was enrolled as a computer engineering student at Concordia University and worked as a part-time convenience store clerk.

Lin’s parents said he was excited about his future in this country.

The family also described struggling mightily with the loss of their only son. His mother, Zhigui Du, talked of losing the will to live after Lin’s death.

Lin was laid to rest in Montreal in July 2012, in the country and city his family said he loved.

The Lin family have been present throughout the proceedings via a Montreal lawyer. Recently, Lin’s father, Diran Lin, formally asked the court to limit access to some of the exhibits considered to be obscene so they aren’t widely published during the trial.

A Montreal lawyer for Lin’s parents and sister said they don’t expect to make any further comments until after the trial.

Prosecutor Louis Bouthillier will represent the Crown while Magnotta will be defended by Leclair, an Ontario-based lawyer, along with Montreal attorney Pierre Pannacio.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Guy Cournoyer will oversee the trial.

Jury selection is expected to run about two weeks. Fourteen bilingual jurors will be chosen to hear the evidence, while 12 of them will eventually decide Magnotta’s fate.

1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick

Gore website operator Mark Marek to stand trial in Edmonton over alleged Luka Magnotta video

By , Edmonton Sun

Thursday, September 04, 2014 12:14 PM MDT

Bestgore.com owner Mark Marek has been arrested near Leduc

An Edmonton webmaster accused of corrupting morals for posting a video of the alleged murder of a Chinese student by Luka Magnotta has been committed to stand trial.

Following a two-day preliminary hearing, Provincial Court Judge Steven Bilodeau ordered Mark Marek, owner of the bestgore.com website, to stand trial on a charge of publishing obscenities.

Marek, who remains free on bail, is slated to be in Court of Queen’s Bench on Oct. 17 to set a trial date.

There is a ban on publication of the evidence heard, the legal arguments made and reasons for committal by the judge in the preliminary hearing, which wrapped up Wednesday.

Marek, 39, was charged by city police for allegedly posting a video entitled “1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick” on his website that police say allegedly shows Magnotta stabbing Jun Lin with an ice pick, cutting up his body and eating some of it.

On May 29, 2012, Lin’s torso was found stuffed inside a suitcase outside a west end Montreal apartment building where Magnotta had lived. After a six-day international manhunt, Magnotta, a Toronto-born porn star and former sex-trade worker, was arrested in Berlin, Germany.

Magnotta, 31, is facing a September trial in Montreal on charges of first-degree murder, indignity to a human body, production and distribution of obscene material and threatening Prime Minister Stephen Harper and members of Parliament.

Edmonton police began looking into Marek’s website shortly after Magnotta was arrested and charged with the 33-year-old Lin’s killing in June 2012.

Anonymous asked: Why do you think Luka wants a publication ban so much?

To try to get a fair trial, not that it’s likely anyways.  Damage’s already been done.