Nova Scotia’s highest court is ordering Canada’s justice minister to take another look at her decision to allow the extradition of a Nova Scotia man accused of sex crimes in Minnesota.
Robert Charles Carroll is facing charges involving a teenage girl he knew when he lived in Minnesota from 1998 to 2008. The girl alleges Carroll abused her from 2003, when she was 13, until 2008.
The girl made her complaint in 2011. U.S. authorities requested that Carroll, who now lives in Nova Scotia, be extradited to Minnesota to face the charges.
Carroll fought the extradition order because of provisions in Minnesota law that could have him locked up indefinitely, if he is convicted.
In a decision released this week, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal ruled Carroll’s concerns are valid and should have been considered more carefully by Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould before she agreed to the extradition.
The concerns focus on Minnesota’s sex offender program (MSOP), which allows for a convicted sex offender to be kept in custody after they have finished their criminal sentence. MSOP is meant to help rehabilitate an offender and allows for detention until a person can be safely reintegrated into society.
Carroll’s lawyer presented the Court of Appeal with evidence and arguments from American courts showing MSOP is badly flawed. The evidence included suggestions MSOP doesn’t allow for regular reviews of inmates in the system to see if they have improved.
In its decision, the Nova Scotia court said the justice minister should not have relied on assurances from American authorities who said Carroll was an unlikely candidate for MSOP.
“Interfering with the minister’s discretion in these politically sensitive decisions is not to be undertaken lightly,” Justice Elizabeth Van den Eynden wrote for the majority of the three-member appeal panel.
“In my view, this is a case of real substance which warrants interference.”