Friday, July 31, 2009

Defence recommending appeal

A sentencing hearing for Wilcox is scheduled to begin Sept. 9. The maximum sentence for criminal negligence causing death is life in prison, but the prosecution and defence have said they are discussing a lesser sentence.

Defence lawyer Lt.-Col. Troy Sweet said he is recommending an appeal, which would be based on legal grounds, including the makeup of the military panel that sat as a jury in the case.

He said one of the defence's "major concerns" was the manner in which the panel was put together by the court martial administrator.

The panel had three officers and one sergeant-major on it, and the defence argued that it should have had a fifth member who was of the same rank as Wilcox. The panels normally have five members.

The defence challenged the makeup during the court martial, but the rulings did not go in its favour. Sweet said an appeal can be launched within 24 hours of Wilcox's sentencing.

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