Over the past month, Canadians have heard a great deal about the death of Meika Jordan, who died of blunt force trauma back in 2011, in the news. The resurgence of her story comes with the recent attempt to receive an appeal by one of Meika’s killers (Marie Magoon) who submitted the request to the Supreme Court of Canada a few months back. The official tentative date for the hearing is October 6th, 2017, however it doesn’t look favourable for the charged. Meika’s father and stepmother, Spencer Jordan and Marie Magoon, were charged with second-degree murder back in March 2015 in Calgary.

According to the original official statement, Meika had received her injuries falling down the stairs but medical reports claimed differently, stating that her injuries were too severe to have been obtained by a fall. Further investigation revealed that Meika had been dragged up and down the stairs, thrown, burned on her hand, and had her head had been knocked against the floor. The stepmother then put in a call to Health Link to ask about treating the burn on Meika’s hand, which was transcribed and submitted as evidence during the initial proceedings.

The Appeal Court has recently concluded in agreement with the Crown that Magoon and Jordan are guilty instead of murder in the first degree –a unanimous decision from a panel of three justices, stating that “constructive first-degree murder was created for cases like this one”. They go on to say that the judge from the original trial had overlooked the factor that escalated the charge from murder in the second to murder in the first: the couple had unlawfully confined Meika on top of the charges of abuse, something that the original judge had dismissed, saying that she was essentially in the care of Magoon and Jordan and that in essence children are often confined when they are with their parents. Furthermore, the court ruled that Jordan and Magoon had no right to be with Meika, as she was supposed to have been with her mother on the weekend in which her ultimately fatal injuries occurred, but instead, in violation of a custody order, remained with her father through his own manipulations.

Currently, the possible revised sentencing should be life without chance of parole for 25 years after the appeal in October following a pattern of auto accident lawsuits. The Appeal Court has also dismissed the possibility of a cross-appeal by the couple who hoped to overturn their convictions. Both Meika’s mother and stepfather, Kyla and Brian Woodhouse, are upset at having to face the Appeal Courts again, having left before the preliminary appeal hearing had ended. With the long road ahead of them until the final stretch in October, Woodhouse was quoted saying that he doesn’t “think it will ever be over”. Find more information at Traut Firm’s Facebook page

Sanctuary CitiesUp until recently, the term ‘Sanctuary City’ was unknown to me. However, with action taken by Donald Trump since his inauguration as the President to withdraw funding from these cities, it seems to be a relevant topic of discussion for those as ignorant as I am. In the States, a Sanctuary City is any municipality (a city, town, etc.) that has individually decided to flout Federal Immigration Law and protect refugees and undocumented immigrants within their boundaries. These cities do this often by refusing to allocate funding or any resources to the enforcement of Federal Immigration Law as well as not permitting municipal employees or officers to inquire about an individual’s immigration or visa status. Although the Federal law does maintain that state and municipal officials may not withhold personal information in regards to immigration from other local, state, or Federal entities, Sanctuary Cities have found that if the information is not collected by local authorities, then it cannot be distributed.

recommended accident lawyer says any prominent American cities have adopted this concept of refusing to cooperate with the Federal government on Immigration laws including, but not limited to: Boston, Detroit, Seattle, Chicago, Baltimore, New York City, Dallas, and New Orleans (though the Mayor states differently, its stance is similar to other Sanctuary Cities and so is widely considered one). Although Trump has, in his first week as President, signed an executive order charging the attorney general’s office as well as the secretary of homeland security to withhold Federal funding from Sanctuary Cities, many of their Mayors are redoubling their efforts to protect immigrants residing illegally in the States, defending their stance to not assist Federal officials.

While many are arguing that this is a threat to national security, claiming that cities with such an ‘open-door’ policy attract criminality and undermine the enforcement and upholding of the law, studies have shown that there is no increase in crime rates in Sanctuary Cities. In fact, many supporters of the concept of Sanctuary Cities argue that refusing to ask residents about, or persecute them for, their immigration status, actually builds trust between the people and their municipal officials and actually encourages individuals, even those who reside in a city illegally, to report crime. Furthermore, if an illegal immigrant has been found to have committed a crime, they can still be detained, tried, and convicted for that crime regardless. However, those who oppose the Sanctuary City argue that the crime would have been avoided in the first place had said individual been removed, despite the numerous studies that show that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes compared to permanent residents.

Whatever the argument, it is clear that the United States is tightening its belt around its Immigration Laws, reducing the number of people who can enter the country and remain there without citizenship.