Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Supreme Court Says Two Convicted Murderers Can't Use Provocation Defence

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Supreme Court Says Two Convicted Murderers Can't Use Provocation Defence

Article excerpt

High court dismisses two provocation appeals

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OTTAWA - Canada's highest court has dismissed two cases that called into question what's known as a defence of provocation.

The Supreme Court of Canada declined appeals in two separate Alberta murder cases that had used the controversial defence.

By dismissing his appeal, the high court ordered a new trial for Michael Cairney of Edmonton, who was convicted of manslaughter in the Feb., 2007 shotgun slaying of his longtime friend, Stephen Ferguson.

Cairney argued that he was provoked into shooting Ferguson after discovering that Ferguson had been abusing and threatening his common-law wife.

A jury had earlier acquitted Cairney of second-degree murder and convicted him of manslaughter, but an appeal court later ordered a new trial.

In another case, the court upheld the second-degree murder conviction of Bill Pappas, who killed Brian Kullman in 2006.

Pappas had accused Kullman of extortion, and when he went to Kullman's home to confront him, Pappas said Kullman wouldn't back down and threatened his mother instead. …

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