Parents shocked to hear deceased daughter has no rights
Mark and Rosemarie Surakka, who are fighting to represent their daughter, Lisa Dudley, in a case challenging the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, were "shocked" to hear the government's arguments this week in B.C. Supreme Court.
The Surakkas allege Dudley's right to life was violated when the RCMP didn't properly investigate a shots-fired call in 2008 in Mission.
"It was shocking to us to think Lisa had rights for four days while she was dying, then had it dissipated to the wind," said Mark Surakka after court was adjourned Feb. 28.
According to Mark, government lawyers claim a person's rights are personal and non-transferrable.
The current law doesn't allow a person's rights to continue after death. Government lawyers want the case dismissed.
"I think it's wrong and it has to change," Mark added. "There was a wrong done, injustice. Is the word justice hollow?"
Madame Justice Heather Holmes presided over the two-day hearing, which wrapped up Thursday, and did not provide an estimated date for the release of her judgment.
Dudley and her boyfriend Guthrie McKay were shot in their rural home on Greenwood Drive in 2008 which, according to a statement of facts entered in court last year, had housed a marijuana grow operation. Dudley, who was paralyzed from her injuries, survived four days inside the house before she was found. She died en route to hospital. Her boyfriend was pronounced dead on the scene.
Former Mission Mountie Cpl. Mike White responded to the shots-fired call, but left the scene after 10 minutes without getting out of his vehicle or talking to the complainant. He also didn't follow up.
Three people have been charged with the couple's murder. Last year Jack Woodruff pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. Police have also charged Justin MacKinnon and Bruce Main with first-degree murder. The trial for the men is expected to begin in May.