The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that confessions obtained through so-called Mr. Big police sting operations must be regulated more carefully in order to be admissible in court.
The ruling came today in the case of a Newfoundland man who was
initially convicted in the first-degree murder of his three-year-old twin daughters.
The conviction of Nelson Hart was later overturned in 2007 by the province's appeal court, but only by a 2-1 margin.
In a majority decision, the Supreme Court ruled that Hart's Charter rights may have been violated and that Canada's legal system does not adequately protect the rights of people who are subject to Mr. Big sting operations.
It has left it up to the Crown to decide whether Hart faces a new trial, but his confession from the sting operation cannot be used.
The Mr. Big investigative technique involves undercover police officers who recruit a suspect to a criminal organization while posing as gangsters with the aim of extracting a confession to a crime.
At trial, court heard that Hart showed undercover officers how he drowned his daughters Krista and Karen by shoving them into the waters of Gander Lake, Newfoundland.