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Building a defence may be difficult after long passage of time

Do you remember what you were doing in 1990? Many people probably do not and would agree that was a long time ago. This was likely the case for a 61-year-old Toronto man who was recently arrested and charged with first-degree murder. The man is accused of stabbing a 38-year-old man to death in 1990, in the course of a robbery, while the deceased worked at a gas bar. 

After a passage of time some crimes can no longer be charged, even if the evidence against a suspect is strong. Murder is not one of those crimes. This is why, after 25 years, an arrest was made in connection with the murder. According to investigators, updates in technology applied to the re-examination of fingerprints and crime-scene DNA that initially was not helpful but nonetheless stored away was the catalyst for the arrest.

The second look was part of a program Toronto law enforcement recently put into place. Called Toronto Police’s Project Never Give Up, the program is the result of a recent internal review. Its goal is to reduce the unsolved homicides deemed cold cases.

In the best of circumstances it can be difficult to defend against a criminal accusation. This may be particularly true after the passage of time when witnesses, alibis and many forms of physical evidence that could be used to build a case, have faded into the past. In this situation it is even more important that someone accused of a crime contacts a criminal defence lawyer for help.