President of Ontario Crown Attorneys' Association cautions against rush to judgment on jury selection issue

    TORONTO, June 18 /CNW/ - Thomas A. Hewitt, the president of the Ontario
Crown Attorneys' Association, today issued the following statement regarding
recent media coverage of jury selections in some Ontario localities:
    "As President of the Ontario Crown Attorneys' Association it is both my
pleasure and privilege to represent the over 900 Assistant Crown Attorneys in
the province. On a daily basis, Ontario's Crowns are routinely engaged in work
that is highly important, often complex and frequently very stressful. Very
considerable demands are placed upon Crown Attorneys, who conduct their work
in the public eye and while subject to a degree of scrutiny that is
unsurpassed by any other professional body of men and women. As public
servants such scrutiny is, of course, to be welcomed. At the same time, I
would like to believe that there is an understanding and appreciation of the
valuable and difficult work performed by Crowns.
    "I have watched with great concern over recent days as competing news
stories have sought to portray this Province's Crowns as tampering with
juries. Inquiries are now under way and these will take their course. Until
they are completed, none of us will be in receipt of all of the facts. My sole
purpose in issuing this statement is to strike a note of balance amidst the
current highly-charged and one-sided atmosphere. I would simply like to remind
Ontarians that the Crown Attorneys in this province consistently strive to
serve the public to the highest standards they can. Far from being purveyors
of injustice my colleagues routinely work to ensure that justice for all is
achieved in each case they handle. Ontario's Crowns do not seek to meddle with
the scales of justice. On the contrary, no one is more active than they are in
working to preserve that delicate balance.
    I would urge the public not to rush to judgment.
    Thomas A. Hewitt
    Ontario Crown Attorneys' Association

For further information:

For further information: Ontario Crown Attorneys' Association, (416)

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