Alberta Justice is appealing the province’s first case where murder charges were stayed because of unreasonable delays.
Lance Matthew Regan had his charge of first-degree murder stayed on Oct. 7, after the case took more than five years to go to trial.
A Supreme Court of Canada ruling earlier this year set new rules for how long a case can take from start to finish.
According to the framework, an unreasonable delay would be presumed should proceedings exceed 18 months in provincial court or 30 months in superior court from the date of charge to conclusion of a trial.
Watch below: Global’s past coverage of Jordan applications
The decision is called R. vs. Jordan and any applications made citing its time guidelines are now called “Jordan applications.”
In the decision for Regan, Justice S.D. Hillier said his right to be tried within a “reasonable time” was violated. He was accused in the stabbing death of Mason Tex Montgrand, 21, a fellow inmate at Edmonton Institution, on Aug. 16, 2011.
The original application brought forward by Regan’s lawyer pointed to a lapse between the initial charge and the expected conclusion of trial, calculated at 62.5 months.
The R. vs Jordan ruling also notes there can be exceptional circumstances in “particularly complex” cases that would allow for an exception.
There are at least nine other major “Jordan applications” pending in Alberta. Four of those are Calgary cases. Two of those are murder cases and one is a conspiracy to commit murder case.
Earlier this month, charges were stayed against Jason Harron, a career criminal.
He was charged with a long string of offences, including criminal negligence causing bodily harm, after an incident with police in northwest Calgary in May 2013.
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