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October 16, 2012 Stephen Ripley Interim Publisher and CEO/Editor-In-Chief Winnipeg Sun 1700 Church Avenue Winnipeg, Manitoba R2X 3A2 Dear Sir:
via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In two articles written by Tom Brodbeck (Gloves Off? Let’s Hope So Judge Wyant and Justice Not Served), Mr. Brodbeck is highly critical of sentences handed out in the particular cases which are the subject matters of those articles. While Mr. Brodbeck is, of course, entitled to his opinions, even if they are based on an incomplete understanding of the legal principles which support the criminal justice system, he is never the less obliged to maintain a measure of journalistic integrity and should not be entitled to convey misinformation to your readership. He should also not be permitted to then portray this information as support and justification for his opinions. In both of the abovementioned articles, Mr. Brodbeck references the role played by Judge Wyant in the sentencing of what has commonly become known as the “Crystal Taman” or the “Derek Harvey-Zenk” case. In his articles, Mr. Brodbeck refers to Judge Wyant as the judge who “won” his first “Eight Ball” award for the decision in that case. He goes on to state, twice, that the decision made by Judge Wyant “brought the administration of justice into disrepute, a Commission of Inquiry later ruled”. If Mr. Brodbeck had taken the time to read the lengthy and thorough Taman Inquiry Report, he would have seen that the specific finding made by Commissioner Salhany was not that the decision of Judge Wyant “brought the administration of justice into disrepute” but, rather, that it was the skewed plea bargain presented to the judge that did so. In fact, Commissioner Salhany found that Judge Wyant acted appropriately in the circumstances. To suggest or imply that Judge Wyant’s decision was found by Commissioner Salhanny to have brought the administration of justice into disrepute is a misrepresentation of the conclusions of the Commissioner. Given the repeated misrepresentations by Mr. Brodbeck on this point, the Manitoba Bar Association is seeking an apology for these errors, a correction, and, at the very least, an assurance that this type of misrepresentation will not occur again. I thank you for your attention to this matter and look forward to your early response. Yours truly,
Karen Wittman President
1020 – 444 St. Mary Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R3C 3T1 tel/tél : (204) 927-1210 | fax/téléc : (204) 927-1212 | email@example.com