Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Edmonton homicide cannot be an assisted suicide.

Yesterday I wrote a blog article concerning the fact that the Crown prosecutor in Edmonton had rejected a guilty plea of assisted suicide by Noel Lavery, a man who is on trial for second-degree murder in the smothering death of his wife Sherry in September, 2006.

In my article I stated:
"The Crown prosecutor appears to have made the correct decision by rejecting a plea of assisted suicide. The media reports indicate that Noel Lavery smothered his wife. Assisted suicide would be the correct charge if Sherry Lavery had killed herself with the "assistance" of Noel Lavery, but since he smothered his wife the charge of second-degree murder at least reflects the fact that he caused the death of his wife."
A CBC News article appears to confirm that the death of Sherry Lavery cannot be a case of assisted suicide. The article reprinted part of the 911 call made by Noel Lavery after he smothered his wife to death. The article stated:

He is then transferred to a dispatch officer and again calmly said, "I have just smothered my wife. My name is Noel Lavery." 
Lavery bristled when the officer asks him for his personal information such as his birthdate. 
"What the hell does that got to do with the fact I just murdered my wife," Lavery said. 
A short time later the officer asked, "Is your wife still breathing?" 
"No," replied Lavery. "I put a pillow on her face and held it there until she stopped."
When asked if his wife's death was mutual decision, Lavery responded: "We talked about it. 
"She told me she could not give me any promise of cure for her alcoholism," he said. "I'm her sole and only caregiver and I told her that I just couldn't do this anymore." 
Lavery then described what happened next.
"I put a pillow over her face. She didn't feel any pain because she was chronically alcoholic and drunk. And I held it...and I held it...and I held it...until I called you."
The defense is trying to prove that this is an assisted suicide case. Since the current evidence indicates that Sherry Lavery did not kill herself, therefore it cannot be a case of assisted suicide.

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