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According to an expert, the Crown could try to use an article that usually concerns hitmen.

Aggravated Charges Against Kenneth Law: What’s Changed?

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Police investigations into Kenneth Law of Mississauga, Ontario, have been opened in several locations around the world. (Archives)


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Kenneth Law, accused of helping people commit suicide, will face aggravated charges, his lawyer told CBC on Friday.

Man previously faced 14 counts of unpremeditated murder and 14 counts of counseling or assisting 14 Ontarians to commit suicide to do so.

However, according to his lawyer, Matthew Gourlay, the Crown aggravated the charges. No trial date has yet been decided. Mr. Law now reportedly faces 14 counts of first degree murder.

According to the Canadian criminal code, first degree murder is a murder committed with premeditation and deliberate intent. Murders that do not fall into the category of first degree murder are second degree murder, it reads.

Investigator Simon James of the York Regional Police indicated last December that the investigation was ongoing and that investigators were constantly re-evaluating the evidence. According to Alina Sklar, a Toronto criminal lawyer, it is common for the Crown to amend charges before a trial.

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Or, according to a second expert , there is a possibility that the Crown will attempt to use a section of the criminal code that usually pertains to hitmen to convince the jury that Mr. Law committed premeditated murder.

It is impossible to know, at the moment, what pushed the authorities to toughen up the charges. Mr. Law is scheduled to appear in the Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket on Thursday, according to his lawyer.

The investigation is being conducted by a team of officers from several police forces, according to Peel Region police press releases. On Friday, in response to questions from CBC, the same police force – which arrested Mr. Law in May 2023 – responded that they should instead be forwarded to the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario. A ministry spokesperson did not immediately respond to these same questions.

Despite everything, According to Mr. Sklar, it is not uncommon to see aggravated charges before the start of a trial. In any criminal case, the evaluation of the evidence continues during the investigation. […] It is not simply when the charges are filed that the police investigation ends. […] The charges evolve depending on the evidence obtained and the evidence analyzed during an investigation.

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Criminal lawyer Alina Sklar practices in Toronto.

In addition, the minimum period of ineligibility for parole is 25 years for first-degree murder, while it is 10 years for second-degree murder, recalls Kent Roach, professor of law at the University of Toronto.

However, according to him, there is a possibility that the Crown will attempt to resort to paragraph 3 of article 231 of the criminal code in order to convict Mr. Law in the event that he is found guilty.

First Degree Murder

(2) First degree murder is murder committed with premeditation and deliberateness.


(3) Without limiting the general scope of subsection (2), murder committed as a result of an agreement for which material consideration, in particular financial consideration, was offered or promised with a view to encouraging the perpetration or complicity through assistance or provision of advice.

Source: Criminal Code of Canada

If this is the case, according to Me Roach, I think this case will set a precedent.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">An adventurous possibility would consist of accusing [Mr. Law] of planned and deliberate contract killing. The typical case is when a hitman is hired. This is not the case here. The question would therefore be this: was there a quid pro quo, knowing that the person who was going to receive [the package] would kill themselves or perhaps kill other people?

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Kent Roach is a law professor at the University of Toronto.

If the Crown decided to use this paragraph and Mr. Law were to be convicted of this way, the defense would undoubtedly appeal the case, affirms Mr. Roach.

At this stage, I think that&amp ;#x27;it is premature to ask whether we will have a trial and whether the conviction will be for second or first degree murder or whether there will be an acquittal. Mr. Roach also recalls that Mr. Law also faces 14 charges of advising or assisting suicide.

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With information from CBC and Mirna Djukic

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116