How has the trial judge reviewed the evidence at a jury trial?

Ontario, Canada


The following excerpt is from R. v. Ferrari, 2012 ONCA 399 (CanLII):

First, it is not accurate to say that the trial judge merely regurgitated the evidence. He reviewed those parts of the evidence that particularly related to the issue of manslaughter for Zingariello and murder for both appellants. The one deficiency in that review was the failure to expressly relate the cause of death evidence to the intent for murder. That evidence was referred to during the review of evidence on first degree murder and referred to in relation to second degree murder in the recharge. Second, the trial judge set out the positions of the defence in considerable detail, with extensive reference to evidence in support of the positions. Combined with the extensive review of each appellant’s testimony, it is my view that the jury would understand the defence positions and how the evidence applied to those positions. The trial judge fulfilled the duty imposed by cases such as Azoulay v. The Queen, 1952 CanLII 4 (SCC), [1952] 2 S.C.R. 495, at pp. 497-98: The rule which has been laid down, and consistently followed is that in a jury trial the presiding judge must, except in rare cases where it would be needless to do so, review the substantial parts of the evidence, and give the jury the theory of the defence, so that they may appreciate the value and effect of that evidence, and how the law is to be applied to the facts as they find them.

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