F (OT)
Team Canada 2018 members
Photo credit: Toronto Star

BREAKING: Major legal decision reached in 2018 world juniors scandal

Published February 28, 2024 at 12:37

Following the announcement that the 2018 Team Canada players would be going to trial, the next big decision would be whether their trial was going to go to a public jury, or if they were going to only be allowed trial by judge. If the offense was found to be egregious enough, the players would be denied to go in front of a jury and would only be allowed trial by judge. No surprise that all players chose to apply for trial by jury, and Rick Westhead of TSN reports that all players have been granted that privilege.

The five players who have surrendered themselves to London Police are Michael McLeod, Cal Foote, Carter Hart, Dillon Dube, and Alex Formenton. All players were granted leaves of absences from their teams to face these charges, and the chances of them returning at this time appears slim. McLeod is the only one of the five facing multiple charges for his role in the incident.

Trial by jury is a massively different procedure than trial by judge, as defense lawyers for the players will look to play more towards people's emotions as opposed to the legal side of the case. Of course there are still all the legal elements of a trip by judge, but jurors are much easier to sway emotionally than a judge would be. The prosecutors will likely seem to take the same approach, and try to attack the character of the players. If the prosecutors can prove to the jury that the accused are capable of a crime this disgusting, then that might impact their verdict.

We also don't know what evidence might be out there for prosecutors, as in these cases it's very hard to prove guilt. If the prosecutors have some semblance of evidence, it could work massively in their favour. The date of the trial also has not been determined yet, but will most likely be some time in 2024. A lot of people seem to be upset with the far off court date, but it takes a long time to accrue evidence and build a case. The longer away the trial date is, the more likely the correct verdict is reached. We may never truly know what happened, but all we can do is hope that justice is served properly and that the verdict reached reflects the truth of what happened.
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