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Crash investigator's emails may show bias

The testimony of an Ontario Provincial Police crash investigator carries substantial weight, and many courts are want to accept his or her testimony as fact. After all, crash investigators are supposed to be impartial scientists who theorize about the causes of accidents; they aren't supposed to show any bias. Unfortunately, sometimes they do, which makes their testimony suspect.

One crash investigator, a constable, is under fire after his emails regarding a defendant have been leaked. The constable was investigating a Pembroke dentist who allegedly caused the death of an Ottawa man in an impaired driving crash. In the emails, the lead crash investigator remarked to the constable that there was a "vested" interest in the dentist's case. Instead of approaching the case like any other, the lead investigator considered this to be a "high profile case."

So, now the constable is being questioned about possible bias. It is suspected that his report may have been influenced by the lead crash investigator, though he denies a lack of impartiality. The dentist has noted, however, that it would be impossible to verify, as the constable's draft report was deleted.

Though some people in Markham would question whether it really matters if the crash investigator's report has been compromised, it is important to remember that everyone deserves a fair trial. The dentist on trial is facing some serious charges and she should only be convicted if it is clear that she is guilty of criminal wrongdoing, not because some lead crash investigator wants her to be.

Source: 

CBC News, "Natsis drunk driving trial witness impartiality questioned," 12 Nov. 2013