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Defending the rights of the dead

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Do your charter rights die when you do?

That’s the argument as the Justice Department tries to have a lawsuit filed by the family of Lisa Dudley tossed out in a hearing that starts today at BC Supreme Court in Vancouver.

In 2008, Dudley and her boyfriend, Guthrie McKay were gunned down in their home in Mission. An RCMP officer responding to a call from a neighbour who heard gunfire did not even get out of his car to check, reporting everything looked normal. McKay died right away but Dudley sat slowly dying for four days before she was found in a dried pool of blood.

Dudley’s family has filed suit against the federal and provincial governments and the RCMP, saying her charter rights to life, liberty and security of the person were violated.

The federal and provincial  governments have applied to have the suit dismissed, stating a deceased person’s rights can not be taken up by others, even close family members.

The family’s lawyer, Monique Pongracic-Speier, argues they can. “And that is based on the fact that the wrong is a wrong not only on Lisa Cheryl Dudley but against the public of Canada as a whole,” she tells News1130.

Dudley’s family will be at the hearing. Her stepfather Mark Surakka says the circumstances surrounding her death were abhorrent and the system failed her terribly.

“How could we not speak on Lisa’s behalf? It’s just the right thing, ” he tells News1130.

“I know the government is arguing that Charter rights are just personal, that no one can claim another’s rights and that rights do not continue after death. I’m not a legal person but I would argue there must be hundreds, if not thousands, of people who’ve been caught in a situation where they’ve grieved and then realized there are issues that their loved ones weren’t granted under the Charter. I think it’s time to examine that.”

Arguments will be heard at BC Supreme Court in Vancouver today and tomorrow.

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think about it

I personally called in to the police in 2008 after hearing gunshots in the vicinity in which I live. The police line took my information and said they would investigate the shots reported. Within one hour, they returned my call and stated they investigated the area and found nothing. They also asked me to call again if anything more needs to be reported.

That’s an effective response to a caller reporting gunshots. By the way, I called their general line, not even 911.

February 28, 2013 at 1:43 am

The guy could have knocked and knocked and knocked…if no one ones to the door and no one calls for help he is not legally allowed to enter the house! Police get suspicious event calls, shots fired calls, my neighbours dog is barking calls all he time! That criminal would have had the cops ass in a sling if no one answered, he broke down the door, checked out the house and found a grow… Bet you would have web on here, too, claiming the unjustice of it all! Shut up, go smoke your weed and get back to your video games. You have wasted everyone’s time here.

February 27, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    But he didn’t even get out of his car to knock. He didn’t even try. He just sat in his car and ate donuts like I’m doing right now after smoking weed/playing video games.

    But I’m not the taxpayer paid RCMP officer that was found guilty of disgraceful conduct…he was…and now the RCMP are getting sued because their employee couldn’t get his ass out of his seat while the girl bled to death for 4 days stuck to the chair she was shot in until her neighbor found her and got an ambulance to rush her to the hospital.

    February 27, 2013 at 6:32 pm