VANCOUVER - More than 15,000 pages of documents have been
filed for the appeal of serial killer Robert (Willie) Pickton.
management hearing was held Wednesday in the B.C. Court of Appeal, where
lawyers for the Crown and defence discussed how things were progressing.
Vancouver lawyer Gil McKinnon, who is handling the appeal for Pickton,
said he expects it should take seven days but asked the court to keep nine
days open, beginning March 30 at the Vancouver Law Courts.
About 50 volumes of appeal books have been filed, along with 78 volumes
of trial transcripts containing 15,651 pages.
Pickton is appealing his conviction, arguing the trial judge, B.C.
Supreme Court Justice Jim Williams, made errors in law while instructing the
jury and by admitting the evidence of Pickton's statements to police.
The Crown has filed a cross-appeal, arguing the trial judge erred by
splitting the 26 first-degree murder charges into two trials. The first
trial dealt with a six-count murder indictment.
Pickton, 59, was convicted last Dec. 9 of six counts of second-degree
murder and received a life sentence without parole for at least 25 years.
All his victims were women who lived and worked in Vancouver's Downtown
B.C. Attorney-General Wally Oppal said this year if Pickton's appeal is
unsuccessful and his conviction stands, the Crown will not proceed with a
second trial on the remaining 20 counts, a decision that disappointed
Media lawyer Dan Burnett is scheduled to appear before the trial judge
later this month to try to lift bans on publication on a number of trial
exhibits, including a videotaped conversation Pickton had with a cellmate
after his arrest on Feb. 22, 2002. The cellmate was an undercover police
officer posing as a criminal.
Burnett will be representing a number of media outlets at the hearing,
set for Oct. 14-17.