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Courts examine whether jurors are violated during selection

A series of cases occupying the country’s highest courts has cast a spotlight on Crown attempts to probe the personal backgrounds of prospective jurors, potentially undermining the sanctity of the jury system.

With the Supreme Court of Canada still deliberating over three cases involving such jury vetting, the Ontario Court of Appeal has wrapped up a week of appeals that also included a look into whether the jury system treats aboriginals unfairly.

The most contentious case involves a 2007 murder trial in Barrie, Ont., where the Crown was privy to private, background information about the mental health, age and driving records of many of the 280 citizens in the jury pool. The defendant, Clare Alexander Spiers, is appealing his conviction on the basis that the background checks stacked the odds against him.

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Here's a great article on the use of tasers and what's becoming an important part of the debate --- the fact that they are killing people with them:

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