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1914/195 Rex vs. Lem How – attempted murder

As part of the Chinese Historical Wrongs Legacy Initiative, the BC Archives has digitized a selection of documents related to criminal prosecutions against the Chinese community from 1866 to 1914, found in GR-0419. These are mainly records created as part of the preliminary hearing held before a judge in order to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. There are often lengthy witness statements, and cross examinations by both prosecution and defense lawyers. The eventual verdict is sometimes recorded on the outside of the docket. They offer a fascinating glimpse into 19th and early 20th century criminal activity around the province, and ways in which the Chinese community was stereotyped. The records offered for transcription here are a small selection; for additional digitized material from GR-0419 click here. 

*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum. Some materials may contain content that is racist, sexist or otherwise offensive. In addition, GR-0419 records deal with subjects such as assault, murder and abuse, which may upset some readers. The Royal BC Museum is only the custodian of archival materials; the content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Royal BC Museum.
*All transcriptions are provided by volunteers, and the accuracy of the transcriptions is not guaranteed. Please be sure to verify the information by viewing the image record, or visiting the BC Archives in person. 

BC Archives G-0419

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Case further adjourned to 18th September.

Do do 22nd September.

Vancouver, B.C.

22nd September 1914

COURT: Mr. Cowan, I have come to the conclusion that I am bound to commit on the charge, and I am about to commit him now, and I wanted you to be in Court.

MR. COWAN: I am prepared with evidence.

COURT: I have no power to hear the other side and to decide the question between one set of witnesses and another. The only power I have under the criminal Code is, if there is sufficient evidence to commit the man for trial; that is all I can do. I cannot try the case.

COURT: Having heard the evidence, do you wish to say anything in answer to the charge? You are not obliged to say anything unless you desire to do so; but whatever you say will be taken down in writing and may be given in evidence against you at your trial. You must clearly understand that you have nothing to hope from any promise of favour, and nothing to fear from any threat which may have been held out to you to induce you to make any admission or confession of guilt, but whatever you now say may be given in evidence against you upon your trial, notwithstanding such promise or threat.

MR. COWAN: We wish to put in evidence. I wish to call Mr. Grant.

BC Archives GR-0419 Box 193 File 1914/195 / BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. / Attorney General documents.

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