New & Notable: Chasing self-defence

Douglas Jackson was a drug dealer. Like most drug dealers he had a gun. On December 13, 2006 he used that gun. He shot Derrick Campbell four times; one of those shots was in the back. He claimed that he was acting in self-defence. He was convicted of second-degree murder. He was sentenced to life with no eligibility for parole for 15 years. He appealed, inter alia, the sentence. That appeal was dismissed: 2013 ONCA 632.


Campbell and his friends were doing drugs one night. During the night they ran out of drugs. They formed a plan to lure Campbell, a drug dealer (dealing in crack), to the apartment and rob him. When Campbell attended they brought him to the washroom where one of the men tried to convince him to front some drugs. During this conversation Jackson pointed a gun at Campbell and told him to give them the drugs and money he had. One of the other men intervened and the robbery was called off.

Jackson’s version of events about what happened next suggested that Campbell then reach toward his belt, while calling Jackson names, and revealed what Jackson believed to be the handle of a gun. Jackson pulled out his gun and shot Campbell a number of times. Campbell turned and began to run. Jackson shot him in the back as he ran from the apartment; Jackson pursued Campbell into the hall continuing to brandish the gun. Campbell ran down four floors and then collapsed and died.

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