Her Majesty the Queen v. Nahoor Araya

Supreme Court Hearings

Her Majesty the Queen v. Nahoor Araya

Case# 35669
Her Majesty the Queen v. Nahoor Araya (October 17, 2014)
At issue is whether the trial judge failed to give the jury instructions on how to weigh the photographic evidence. The respondent mr. araya was convicted of manslaughter. The victim was shot while socializing with some friends in a toronto park. According to witnesses, a group of three or four black men approached the victim and his friends and tried to rob some of them. The victim resisted when they tried to take his backpack and, in response, he tasered one of the robbers. When the robbers fled, the victim followed them, and was shot. The crown conceded that the respondent was not the shooter because he did not meet the description given by witnesses. In addition, mr. araya was not identified as being in the park on the night in question. The crown relied heavily on the testimony of one of the respondent’s teachers. The teacher stated the respondent had come to him for advice and had admitted that he was in the park at the time of the shooting. The respondent told the teacher that he was not involved and did not have a gun. At trial, the crown was permitted to introduce two photographs of mr. araya taken at the time of his arrest. The photographs were taken five days after the shooting. The jury was told it could consider mr. araya’s appearance in those photos as a piece of circumstantial evidence.

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on appeal, mr. araya argued that
the photographs should not have
been admitted

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the respondent also stated that the trial
judge erred in his jury instructions with
respect to the photographs

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a majority of the court of appeal
allowed the appeal