Not any more

Publication bans lifted in serial killer Pickton case

In Canada on August 4, 2010 at 20:33

NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. — All but three publication bans in the case of serial killer Robert William Pickton have been lifted.

Lawyers for the media appeared in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster Wednesday afternoon to argue about the sweeping publication bans covering Pickton’s trial. A number of publications bans cover evidence not presented to the jury in that trial.

Pickton, 60, was convicted in 2007 of six counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of six missing Vancouver women —Sereena Abotsway, Marnie Frey, Andrea Joesbury, Georgina Papin, Mona Wilson and Brenda Wolfe.

Crown prosecutors, meanwhile, have officially stayed the remaining 20 murder charges against Pickton. The move came during the hearing Wednesday afternoon.

On Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled against giving Pickton a new trial and the B.C. Crown indicated then that they didn’t plan to proceed with the remaining charges.

The face of the now 60-year-old farmer has become permanently linked for many Canadians with memories of news reports of gruesome evidence being uncovered by authorities during a lengthy forensic excavation of Pickton’s farm.

After an 11-month trial, he was sentenced in 2007 to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years for the second-degree murder of the six women, who disappeared from Vancouver’s crime-plagued Downtown Eastside.

On Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled against giving Pickton a new trial and B.C. Crown prosecutors have indicated they don’t plan to proceed with the remaining 20 murder charges against Pickton.

That means the court proceedings against Pickton are essentially over, something media lawyers argued should allow the publication bans to be lifted.

Vancouver Sun

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