Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Wednesday, October 29. 2014

Today's schedule is B-AG-A-D-C

B Block Law 12 - So yesterday we talked about homicide. We learned the difference between culpable and non-culpable homicide along with the levels of murder (first and second degree) as well as manslaughter (voluntary and involuntary)...all done through an interpretive play involving my swivel chair, the floor and a garbage can. Dank! We'll start today with R. v. Nette (2001) and answer questions 1-4 on the case together as a class.

The Nette case deals with "causation" and murder which helps with questions 1-5 on p. 221 which I'll have you work on as well. In terms of the Nette case and causation the citation states:

A 95-year-old widow who lived alone was robbed and left bound with electrical wire on her bed with a garment around her head and neck. Sometime during the next 48 hours, she died from asphyxiation. During an RCMP undercover operation, the accused told a police officer that he had been involved in the robbery and death. The accused was charged with first degree murder under s. 231(5) of the Criminal Code -- murder while committing the offence of unlawful confinement -- and tried before a judge and jury. At trial, he claimed that he had fabricated the admission. He testified that he had gone alone to the victim’s house only with intent to break and enter, that the back door to the house was open as though someone already had broken into the home, and that he left after finding the victim already dead in her bedroom. The trial judge charged the jury on manslaughter, second degree murder and first degree murder under s. 231(5) of the Code. In response to a request from the jury that he clarify the elements of first degree murder and the “substantial cause” test, the trial judge essentially reiterated his charge. Overall, he charged that the standard of causation for manslaughter and second degree murder was that the accused’s actions must have been “more than a trivial cause” of the victim’s death while, for first degree murder under s. 231(5), the accused’s actions also must have been a “substantial cause” of her death. On two occasions, however, once in the main charge and once in the re-charge, he described the standard of causation for second degree murder as “the slight or trivial cause necessary to find second degree murder” instead of “more than a trivial cause”. The jury found the accused guilty of second degree murder and the Court of Appeal upheld that verdict. The only ground of appeal both before the Court of Appeal and this Court concerned the test of causation applicable to second degree murder.

A & C Blocks Social Studies 10 - Today I'll have you work on questions 1, 2 & 3 on page 72 of the Horizons textbook. After, we are going to take a look at the characters involved in the Rebellions of 1837 and 1838. In Upper Canada, Newspaper editor William Lyon Mackenzie (the paper was called The Colonial Advocate) was a fiery reformer and was five times elected to parliament by the citizens of the colony. He was considered as a serious agitator by the Family Compact and at the time he led the rebellion he was mayor of Toronto. Robert Baldwin was a reformer who was also wealthy, well educated, and a member of the Anglican Church. He wished for the governor to do what the elected assembly advised him to do (known as a "responsible government"). Sir Francis Bond Head was the newly appointed governor of Upper Canada in 1836. He accused the Reformers and Radical Reformers of wanting a Republican style of government (like that in the U.S.A.) and being traitors to King William IV and Great Britain.

In Nova Scotia, newspaper editor (the paper was called the Novascotian) Joseph Howe was first elected in 1836, campaigning on a platform of support for responsible government. This was the result of a long campaign against government corruption that ended with him winning a libel lawsuit laid against him. He argued that "the Colonial Governors must be commanded to govern by the aid of those who . . . are supported by a majority of the representative branch.” This measured approach differed from that of Mackenzie and of Louis Joseph Papineau...

For Lower Canada (Quebec), there were many issues surrounding the Chateau Clique but the large "elephant in the room" was the Anglophone/Francophone power, culture and language issue. Louis Joseph Papineau, lawyer, seigneur, leader of the Parti Canadien (Parti Patriote) became the voice of the rebellion in Lower Canada. Papineau, like Mackenzie in Upper Canada, promoted an American style Repubican Democracy - one that reflected the French Canadian power base in Lower Canada. After being elected, Papineau and a small committee put forward their demands in the "Ninety-Two Resolutions," which demanded control of revenues by the legislature, for responsibility of the executive and for election of the council. After being refused...events took a turn for the worse in Lower Canada (more to come).

The Canadian Encyclopedia Rebellions of 1837
Canadian Library Archives 1837 Rebellion
Histor!CA Rebellions of 1837 page

D Block Criminology 12 - Because we didn't get to it yesterday, to better understand the people that commit heinous acts of murder, we'll also review what a "psychopath" is. Too often people throw the term psycho around without really understanding what it means so we'll look at Dr. Robert Hare's PCL-R (Psychopathy Checklist Revised). The diagnosis "Psychopath" is closely related to Antisocial Personality Disorder in the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition). We'll watch the recreation of the 1961 Stanley Milgram experiment on "Obedience to Authority".  From ABC News "Basic Instinct: The Science of Evil"

In the experiment, conducted at Yale University over a period of months in 1961, an authority figure -- "the experimenter" -- dressed in a white lab coat and instructed participants to administer what they believed were increasingly painful electric shocks to another person. Although no one was actually receiving shocks, the participants heard a man screaming in pain and protest, eventually pleading to be released from the experiment. When the subjects questioned the experimenter about what was happening, they were told they must continue. And continue they did: Two-thirds of Milgram's participants delivered shocks as they heard cries of pain, signs of heart trouble, and then finally -- and most frightening -- nothing at all. 

So if we are studying violence and we categorize violence as "evil" then shouldn't we understand what makes people do "evil" things? The ABC Primetime News team recreated Milgram's experiment and we'll watch it today.

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