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UPDATE

Nicole Doucet was granted a stay of proceedings and let off for counseling to murder her ex-husband, Michael Ryan.

The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP has produced their report on the Doucet Case. Read the Report

The Commission also provided the Canadian Association for Equality with an acknowledgement of their receipt of our submission. Read the Letter

CAFE has also released a new media advisory:

MEDIA ADVISORY – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Legislation Needed to Ensure Equal Protection for Male Victims of Serious Crime
Equality group applauds RCMP watchdog findings suggesting Supreme Court failure in Nicole Doucet case

TORONTO, ONTARIO — (July 18, 2013) The Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE) applauds the outcome from the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP that fully exonerated the RCMP in their handling of the Nicole Doucet case.

“The findings discredit Nicole Doucet’s wholly unfounded claims of abuse by her ex-husband and suggest the Supreme Court committed an historic blunder in allowing her to go free after attempting to have her husband murdered,” said Malcolm Johnston, CAFE Director of Public Policy.

CAFE sympathizes with demands that the Supreme Court reexamine this case, as well as with a call by Dalhousie Schulich School of Law Professor Archibald Kaiser for a public inquiry. “The courts lost their vision of the nature of Canadian society and the function of the criminal law,” said Kaiser in describing the case.

CAFE’s primary concern however is on legislative change that ensures gender equality in law, by protecting victims and punishing criminals equality, regardless of gender.

“Nicole Doucet got away with a heinous crime by fabricating sudden abuse allegations that went entirely unchallenged at every step,” said Johnston. “This precedent can not stand. Legal traditions which privilege testimony of women over men and lead to outcomes that pervert basic justice must be reformed immediately.”

For CAFE’s previous Letter to the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, please visit our website at http://tinyurl.com/CAFE-Doucet

CONTACT
Amber Taylor
Canadian Association for Equality
info@equalitycanada.com
416-479-0718


National Post coverage on the Nicole Doucet case

‘Stain on the justice system’: Calls for inquiry into decision to clear teacher who hired hit man to kill husband

The abuse excuse: Were courts right to drop case against woman who hired hit man to kill her husband?

The Canadian Association for Equality had submitted a letter to the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP. Read the Letter and the media advisory below

MEDIA ADVISORY – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SUPREME COURT SEXISM LETS WOMAN OFF FOR COUNSELING TO MURDER 
Equality group horrified Court has more sympathy for perpetrator than victim, abuse allegations unquestioned

TORONTO, ONTARIO — (June 25, 2013) The Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE) is horrified that Nicole Doucet will face no legal consequences for attempting to have her husband murdered, while the Supreme Court has expressed more sympathy with the perpetrator of this heinous crime than the intended victim.

Nicole Doucet was arrested and charged with counselling to commit murder after hiring an undercover RCMP officer – posing as a hitman – to murder her husband, Michael Ryan. Judges at every level quickly concluded that Mr. Ryan was violently abusive, and that death threats against his wife left her no safe avenue of escape. The Supreme Court found she had no reasonable defense, but granted her a stay of proceedings for having been through abuse and injustice, allowing her to walk away a free woman.

Yet the foundation of the case – that Mrs. Ryan was an abused woman – was never tested.

In a letter sent to the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, a watchdog now investigating the agency’s performance on this file, CAFE strongly urged a comprehensive evaluation of the core assumptions undergirding this case.

“Outside of Ms Doucet’s own unchallenged characterizations there was not a shred of objective evidence presented at any time to substantiate Ms. Doucet’s claims against her husband, Mr. Ryan, nor was Mr. Ryan offered any opportunity to present his substantially different account ” said Malcolm Johnston, CAFE Director of Public Policy. “In fact, Mr. Ryan was awarded sole custody of their daughter in 2009 after a court-ordered psychological assessment concluded Mrs. Ducet was the abusive and unfit parent.”

Ms. Doucet never mentioned suffering from abuse prior to her arrest for counseling to murder, nor during custody hearings, and can she be heard in a videorecording of her encounter with the undercover RCMP officer admitting her husband was never abusive.

For years, courts have been privileging testimony of women over that of men, especially in cases alleging abuse, in a serious breach of gender equality before the law.  “Now that Ms. Doucet has gotten away with counselling to murder, we have a legal precedent that brings us to a new extreme,” said Johnston. “There is now a simple mechanism by which women can avoid criminal guilt if for custody, money or any other reason they want to end the life of their husband.”

In a CBC series run between January and February 2013, readers responded with a staggering 5000 comments, largely in outrage over the implications of allowing a serious crime to go unpunished on unchallenged grounds.

CAFE urges the RCMP watchdog to fully investigate the information given to the RCMP related to the core abuse assumptions in this case by finally soliciting testimony from the targeted victim, Mr. Ryan. “We risk future tragedy if we fail to send a strong message that all victims will be protected, and all perpetrators held to account, regardless of gender.  No-one should get away with a serious crime by having their testimony accepted without question,” said Iain Dwyer, CAFE Spokesperson.

CONTACT
Amber Taylor
Canadian Association for Equality
info@equalitycanada.com
416-479-0718

Letter to the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP
PO Box 88689
Surrey, BC, V3W 0X1
email: complaints@cpc-cpp.gc.ca

From: The Canadian Association for Equality
PO Box 73076 Wood Street PO, 465 Yonge St.
Toronto, ON, M4Y 2W5
email: info@equalitycanada.com
phone: 416-479-0718

Re: RCMP’s handling of complaints involving Nicole (Ryan) Doucet

The Canadian Association For Equality (CAFE) is a national nonpartisan nonprofit organization committed to achieving equality for all Canadians, and in particular focused on gender equality in those areas which are understudied in contemporary culture.

We support police action that is responsive to a complainant so as to fully investigate the veracity and validity of allegations of criminal activity in each and every case. But CAFE believes that in the case of Ms. Doucet, wholly appropriate responses by the RCMP are being questioned on ideological and sometimes sexist grounds rather than through a focus on basic justice and equality.

Nicole Doucet attempted to have her husband murdered. She was ultimately let off. The Courts have expressed more sympathy for her than for her intended victim, and more horror at the RCMP than the heinous crime that was perpetrated.

The Supreme Court concluded, in letting her off:

“In addition, the abuse which she suffered at the hands of Mr. Ryan took an enormous toll on her, as, no doubt, have these protracted proceedings, extending over nearly five years, in which she was acquitted at trial and successfully resisted a Crown appeal in the Court of Appeal. There is also the disquieting fact that, on the record before us, it seems that the authorities were much quicker to intervene to protect Mr. Ryan than they had been to respond to her request for help in dealing with his reign of terror over her.”

Ms. Doucet’s entire defense, and even the motivation for the investigation by this Commission, rests on her unquestioned allegations of domestic abuse. Yet not a shred of evidence was offered to substantiate those claims, and significant reasons exist to doubt them.

The Supreme Court has acknowledged Ms. Doucet’s entire defense to be without merit in the case against her.

Based on their own assessment of the case against Ms. Doucet on charges of counseling to murder, the Crown withheld testimony from both the police and the intended victim Mr. Ryan. Therefore, we encourage your review to undertake the following:

– Look into the results of police investigations that resulted from Ms. Ducet’s several phone calls to police in the years before she attempted to have her husband murdered. Those investigations will show that her abuse allegations were quickly found by police to be inconsistent and in some cases impossible.

– Ensure Mr. Ryan is provided every opportunity to present information that may be relevant. If Mrs. Doucet is working in cooperation with the Commission in its investigation, and the entire cases hinges on actions Mr. Ryan is alleged to have committed, certainly Mr. Ryan should at least have some opportunity to address these allegations

– Investigate the relevant aspects of the history of the relationship between Ms Ducet and her intended victim, Mr. Ryan. For example, your investigation should consider the following facts:

– Mr. Ryan has had full custody of their daughter since 2009 after court-ordered psychological assessments concluded Ms. Doucet was abusive and unfit to parent. Ms. Doucet didn’t contest his sole custody, which seems inconsistent if she thought he was an abusive parent.

– Psychological assessments of Ms. Doucet concluded that she wasn’t properly caring for her emotional and physical well being and recommended to court that her access to her daughter be controlled

– During during custody hearings, Ms. Doucet never mentioned suffering from abuse from her husband

– Mr. Ryan was prepared to pay child support, divide the assets, and agree to a divorce, a claim that is inconsistent with Ms. Doucet’s statement that she had no other way to leave Mr. Ryan than his murder

– In the conversation Ms. Ducet had with the undercover officer who she hoped would kill Mr. Ryan, she tells the Officer her husband was never abusive to her and that it would be fine if the Officer also had to kill Mr. Ryan’s new girlfriend. The conversation seemed inconsistent with her claim to have suffered regular abuse.

The Canadian Association for Equality supports continued good police work that investigates incidents rather than supports sexist ideologies. Courts have been moving for years in the direction of privileging testimony of women over that of men, especially in cases of abuse allegations, in a serious breach of gender equality before the law. Now that Ms. Doucet has gotten away with counseling to murder, we have a legal precedent that brings us to a new extreme. There is now a simple mechanism by which any woman can avoid criminal guilt if for any reason they want to end the life of their husband.

In a CBC series run between January and February 2013, readers responded with a staggering 5000 comments, largely in outrage over the implications of allowing a serious crime to go unpunished on unchallenged grounds.

We risk future tragedy if we fail to send a strong message that neither gender can get away with a serious crime by having their testimony accepted without question.

We trust your investigation will set the record straight on the facts of this case.</div>

 

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