If there is one thing a shoplifting lawyer in Calgary can attest to, it is the fact that there are not enough prosecutors. In the latest report made by CBC News, it was found out that hundreds of residents are able to walk away despite committing crimes because there is a shortage of prosecutors who will handle the trials.
Of the total cases they take on weekly, these prosecutors are only keeping trials with low-complexity which could fit in one whole day. The rest of the cases, which sometimes could fit in three whole days of trial, are dumped. These statistics were provided by the ACAA or Alberta Crown Attorneys’ Association.
They would rather deal with less complex cases because it only takes one-half of a day to complete the trial. These are cases that cover breaches, assault, shoplifting, theft and mischief.
According to Alberta Crown Prosecution Service, Justice and Solicitor General’s assistant deputy minister, Eric Tolppanen, he is in favour of the decisions regarding the cases. He added that the current predicament only shows that there is a dire need for additional prosecutors considering the number of cases that are being presented by the police. Furthermore, he explained that the decisions are made in order to utilize the resources available to the cases that involve crimes that are violent and should be tried.
Based on the data provided by the ACAA, the prosecutors in Alberta handle the highest number of cases in Canada while Saskatchewan follows behind on the second spot. These are areas that should be given attention when it comes to hiring additional prosecutors.
It is common for lawyers handling low complexity cases such as shoplifting lawyer to receive letters that their cases have been dropped after the Crown determined that there will be no prosecutor to handle the trials on a particular day. Every week, only six days are set for low complexity cases which are tried in two different courtrooms. Out of eight trials scheduled, oftentimes only five actually goes to trial. ACAA admitted that there is shortage in the number of prosecutors therefore not every courtroom can be assigned to each of them.