Former NHL’er Ramage Has Appeal

Former St. Louis Blue and Toronto Maple Leaf has had his second day in court.  This time to appeal a conviction that led to a four year sentence for Impaired Driving Causing Death in connection with the accident that claimed another former NHL’er, Keith Magnuson.

The appeal will focus around two specific issues:

1. Was Ramage’s Charter rights violated through the collection of his urine at the hospital?

2. Should the court find that they were not violated, is the four-year sentence imposed by the Ontario Superior Court too harsh?

The court appears to be already leaning toward reducing the sentence through the words of Justice David Doherty who indicated

I think it’s fair to say we’re all concerned about the length of sentence.

To me this is an interesting case and one that affects me personally.  I worked with many (if not all) of the officers involved in this case, however, this specific incident was before my time.  No police officer likes losing a case because of an error that they committed (i.e. Charter breach), however, although the defence has suggested the officer wilfully breached Mr. Ramage’s rights.  It is more likely the officer was acting in good faith with respect to the investigation.

But this begs the question.  If an officer, who acting in good faith, breaches an accused person or suspect’s rights, in situations such as this, is justice better served in upholding a conviction or upholding a what would ultimately be a minor Charter violation.

You may wonder why I say minor?  Because ultimately, although a breach may have occurred, a warrant surely would have been granted to obtain bodily fluids.


About the Author

Ryan Venables
Ryan Venables is a third year law student at the University of Western Ontario. He holds B.A. (2001) from the University of Western Ontario in Political Science and Sociology. Ryan was also enrolled in a M.A.- Journalism at the University of Western Ontario before withdrawing to attend law school. Before pursuing a formal education in law, Ryan served with the York Regional Police as a police officer for five years specializing in organized crime. He also served in the Special Investigations Section with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for two years. His legal interests include employment/labour, criminal, family, and human rights law. When Ryan is done law school he will be articling with Ross & McBride LLP in Hamilton, Ontario.

1 Comment on "Former NHL’er Ramage Has Appeal"

  1. Where in all this “legal” debate is the rights of the other driver considered?
    If memeory serves me correctly the accident was in 2003. The other driver was badly injured and crippled, does she not warrent consideration? I have not heard one high priced lawyer speak out on her behalf in all this debate about rights.
    Also if memory serves me again did the Mangnuson family not get several million dollars for a wrongful death claim in the USA?
    How could he not be guilty????
    Puzzled in Scarborough

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