Could defence lawyers be punished for closing arguments?

The family of a 13-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted and murdered by Ibrahim Ali in July 2017 said they were “shocked and revolted at the appalling conduct of the defence during the case” and want the two lawyers to lose their licences.

In his closing argument, lead defence counsel Kevin McCullough suggested the young victim wasn’t innocent, may have been attracted to his client, and that they could have had consensual sex. Under Canadian law, a person must be at least 16 years old to be able to legally consent to sexual activity with an adult.

CRCVC’s executive director stated, “We are not trying [to] take away the rights of the offender, of the accused to have their own defence. What we are saying is these folks, when they are defending their clients, they’re taking into account who’s in the room. I think you can do a really great job at defending and not say the things that this person said.”

Additionally, Aline Vlasceanu voiced her concern about the family’s well-being and hoped that they have support in place because Ali’s lawyers are appealing the first-degree murder conviction.

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