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Nicole Kish convicted of 2nd degree murder

March 2, 2011

Artist's rendition: Nicole Kish trial, CBC news

 Justice was served.

 Yet no one actually saw her do it

 But it was her knife and that was enough for the judge.

 The conviction of Nicole Kish, the young Toronto panhandler who got into an argument with a tourist who gave her lip outside a club, and in the resulting brawl between two male tourists and four panhandlers (who came to Kish’s aid), Kish’s knife was used, and Ross Hammond was killed.

 It was tragic event all around, but the court decision is a very dangerous precedent for the future of justice in Ontario.

 Not one of the twenty eye witnesses the prosecution brought forward saw Kish kill Hammond, or could testify against her.

But it was her knife, and that was enough for the judge. She was convicted of 2nd degree murder.

Maybe she did stab him. Maybe she didn’t.

That she had a knife, as a woman, living on the streets of Toronto, shouldn’t surprise anyone. (Unless you’ve been there, you don’t know what the hell you are talking about.)

But to convict her simply because she had a knife pushes the idea of guilty beyond its legal limits.

The onus must always remain on the prosecution to actually prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that their accusations are true.

I don’t care if you think Kish was just a waste of space, as many people think panhandlers are. I don’t care if you assume she did it. That is beside the point.

That the prosecution could not prove that she did it – even when they brought forward 20 eye witnesses, but then have the judge convict anyway, is not the practice of law in a democracy.

A tragic incident, should not be followed up with a shameful decision.

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39 Comments leave one →
  1. Sherman Hinze permalink
    March 3, 2011 6:17 pm

    Criminals do not constitute a ‘natural’ category, but are people labeled as such as a result of complex social and legal processes. One would argue that courts and legal processes are likely only to reflect, reinforce, even to exacerbate inequalities and that the young, minorities, the unemployed (panhandler), the dispossessed, and the poor are most likely to be disadvantaged in this situation. Secondly, the traditional representation of the criminal process as concerned with establishing the truth has been challenged by some who see the truth as being a socially constructed and refracted through the processes of interpretation, addition, subtraction, selection and reformulation. Thus, it is not difficult to ascertain why the panhandler “went down” without a viable witness.

  2. March 14, 2011 9:16 am

    I like your article because it drives home a clear and present danger to individuals in regards to the Canadian Judicial system. However just for a heads up, I got to point out that in trial it was established by the judge that the knife had belonged to Faith(here former co-accused) but that Nicole Kish must have taken it off of her sometime during the altercation, which is despite all the DNA and physical evidence suggesting other wise. As well, two surveillance videos that are believed to have captured the altercation that night had gone missing while in police custody. It only gets worse and i recommend to everyone that they should just take a look at the website for starters. http://www.freenyki.org/
    Cheers again though Sisyphus for having the intellectual and journalistic integrity to question the official story.

  3. March 14, 2011 1:04 pm

    It was not her knife, actually. Another woman testified that it was not Nicole’s knife, but in fact her own but the judge decided to ignore this testimony.

  4. March 14, 2011 1:40 pm

    You are absolutely right, Sherwood. That is not how we are told justice is practised in Ontario, or anywhere else in Canada. This case is a disgrace and the girl needs to be freed.
    Also, one error that your artical contains is that Faith Watts, one of the other three arrested, testified that Nicole Kish never carried a knife, and that in fact it was her knife.
    Another, very important, fact that makes this conviction all the more ridiculous.
    Ashton Grey

  5. Sherwood Hinze permalink*
    March 14, 2011 2:04 pm

    Wow! Thanks for the update. I had no idea about the knife, nor the video disappearing. I really do believe we are on a slow slippery slope to a more authoritarian reality in North America and this is just one more example of that slide. Thanks for the feedback…

    • March 14, 2011 2:19 pm

      Thank you for writing this article. As a family member, it is so hard to know that Nicole is behind bars for something she did not do.

  6. Justicewasserved permalink
    March 14, 2011 2:40 pm

    And as a family member of the deceased, I am appalled at the slanderous crap your “free nyki” sites have been posting. Forewarned, further legal action will be taken. Get off your high horses and get your heads out of your ass, “Sweet Nyki” isn’t so sweet…just saying TAKE A REAL CLOSE LOOK at your little angel. And if your going to post “evidence” and “testimony” feel “free” however, don’t just pick and choose, share it all. Your little Nyki was front and centre or are you denying she had ANY involvement whatsoever??!!! Yep, Ross may have said some unkind words but they were just WORDS!! We have lost our loved one forever, yours (sadly) will roam the streets once again and you will see her “lovely” (cough, cough) face again. FYI Greatest moment thus far, seeing her get handcuffed and taken away, farewell, good riddance, rot in hell!

    • Sherwood Hinze permalink*
      March 14, 2011 2:59 pm

      Absolutely, undeniably a sad tragedy happened here. It was horrible that Ross was taken from the world – especially over such an unnecessary incident. But the justice system has to protect both the accused and the victim. My worry is that with decisions like this, despite the fact that the prosecution has not done their job properly, it opens up a can of worms for future decisions. It the courts convict just because they “feel” the person was guilty, the possiblity of abuse will be inevitable. If Nicole Kish did the crime she should absolutely do the time. But it is up to the prosecution to prove – beyond a reasonable doubt – that she actually did the crime. Otherwise, the police and prosecuting lawyers can say whatever they like in a court of law. Given that the police arrested moms and 12-year-olds at the G20 simply for “being there” (i.e. in their own neighbourhoods) attests to this potential abuse of power. I also lost a close friend to a homicide, but the law has to be held to the highest and strictest standards if we are to live in a free and democratic society.

      • Justicewasserved permalink
        March 14, 2011 5:08 pm

        Agreed. I nor, the Kish family are lawyers, judges or police, therefore, for our family at least left the court process in their hands. We would have had to accept the outcome had it been different, but it was not. Do not think for one minute we don’t recognize that losses are all around in this horrible situation, and respectfully it is understood that no one would want to believe their child could or would be capable of doing such an act. Fact is, Ross did not stab himself. We left it in the hands of the crown, judge, police and in fairness the defense to do their jobs. Surmise to say we are never going to see eye to eye on this matter, so let it be. Do what you feel necessary but respect that a family lost a loved one. Well, i guess two, just in different circumstances. This has been a nightmare for all involved, but a crime was committed and with crime comes punishment. Nicole was involved, no doubt. But, for those who were not present for the court proceedings to comment upon such is absurd. What is is is and what will be will be…..until then.

    • What's in a name anyway. permalink
      March 23, 2011 12:36 am

      “And as a family member of the deceased, I am appalled at the slanderous crap your “free nyki” sites have been posting. Forewarned, further legal action will be taken”

      There is no slander on any of those sites. They deal with and talk about Nyki. There is nothing said about Ross or the Hammond family. So good luck with the legal action. Also there is hate speach all over the Ross Hammond group attacking Nyki. (hypocrites). Your suporters have been posting vulgar things on the Free Nyki page. One of them going so far as to threaten violence on every person in the group. So how aout you come down off your “high horse” and see that we aren’t putting it in you faces in any way. We don’t post on your group and harass your suporters. We are supporting what we believe in. You don’t have to like it but you need to respect our right to feel and think what we want. So if you want to get the police involved I’d be more than happy to forward them all the threats made by your people.

    • laura permalink
      March 23, 2011 1:37 pm

      you are a terrible person to say what you did. your awful family member stripped HER of dignity and the words that were said were very sexually degrading and very insulting to ALL WOMEN! i think its unfortunate that a family member of your has died. but if a person who goes to another country, harasses and demoralizes a person who is from there. i think the honess is on the tourist to be respectful and act accordingly. that you come on to this site and say rude things about ms. kirsh, it only furthers the thinking that he DESERVED IT. BECAUSE OF HIS BIG MOUTH (WHICH IS JUST A BIT BIGGER THAN YOURS)HOW DARE YOU, YOU COW.

      • laura permalink
        March 23, 2011 1:39 pm

        SORRY TO BE SO RUDE AND SAY SUCH IGNORANT THINGS. I DONT TRULY FEEL THAT THE GUY DESERVED IT, I SIMPLY WANTED THIS PERSON TO SEE HOW AWFUL IT WOULD FEEL FOR her FAMILY TO READ THE IGNORANT COMMENT LEFT BY THEM.

      • Amanda permalink
        April 2, 2011 6:55 am

        You have so contradicted yourself here in your comment. I won’t stoop to your level in name calling to anyone (Hammond or Kish), and you obviously were never in the court room during the trial to hear ALL evidence from ALL witnesses or you also would not be making comments here about what you DO NOT know. Yes maybe what Ross said was inappropriate but that does NOT warrent his death in this. If that was the case there would be hundreds if not thousands of murders all over Ontario every single day. It goes back to the old saying of “Sticks and stones my break my bones but names will never hurt me”.
        Oh and FYI….Ross Hammond was NOT a tourist. He was a Canadian who lived in Ontario.

  7. Justicewasserved permalink
    March 14, 2011 5:18 pm

    Out of curiosity Mr. Hinze how many times if any were you present at the trial?

  8. SHANE HAMMOND permalink
    March 14, 2011 6:20 pm

    I understand its hard to have a love one you care for in jail I also understand what it feels like to have a love one taken from this earth. Its easy to take certain articles from the paper and make people believers of your cause but for the testimony of Nicoles friend who said she was innocent and never carried a knife please remember she also said she took drugs and alcohol that night and blacked out before anything happen. She also thought Ross took the knife from her but witnesses said they saw Nicole with the knife. Again i understand what the Kish family is doing and im not upset i would try and protect my daughter to family is all we really have in this world. But when we get older we make our own decisions in life and that we have to live with. And lets be honest Ross’s behaviour did not warrent death and i havent heard an appology yet if someone was innocent think about that. I live my life without remorse because i would feel sorry if anything i did hurt someone. I have heard comments that Ross was the agresser one person against a group of people and were to believe Nicole was the victim please again i know her family will defend her doesnt matter if the odds are against but i am asking to stop saying Ross Hammond deserved what he got or Nicole was the victim if you read everything in the paper and know what was said in court you would know this is not true.

  9. dookie permalink
    March 14, 2011 6:50 pm

    If you are looking for answers I would not be looking to the free nyki site as it is full of discrepancies and half truths.The fact of the matter is the defence had an opportunity to bring forward as many witnesses as they wanted out of the as they put it “more than 20 eyewitnesses” that seen the altercation but only brought 4 and a video taped statement if you will of a Faith Watts who by admission had shot Oxycontin through a syringe and was drinking heavily all day and had black outs of that day.To top it off Nicole could have shared her side of the story but remained silent!If that were me being accused of murder you bet your ass I would have got my ass out of my chair to defend myself(unless I had something to hide) which she did not!There were id’s made of who had a knife,the videos were proved that they would not have picked up the incident,there was dna evidence on the knife and all over Queen St. (the two Dna matches on the knife were Ross and Nicole the same knife was used on both of them).To sum up the judge was very thorough in his findings and is a very well respected at that.They could have asked for a jury trial but did not because a jury doesn’t need to have reasons for their verdict a judge however needs to give reasons for his findings and he did just that!If I were on the jury and this is just my opinion she would be exactly where she is now!Sometimes truth is a hard pill to swallow……….take another drink of water!

  10. Sherwood Hinze permalink*
    March 14, 2011 7:11 pm

    Okay, one last time I am going to try and make my thoughts clear. As an outsider, with no emotional stake in this case, I want to know the following: “Did the prosecution, beyond a reasonable doubt, establish that Nicole Kish killed Ross Hammond, with the murder weapon?”

    Why is this question fundamental? Because if the police can accuse someone of doing something, and the courts will convict because the prosecution says so, then we will not long have real justice in Canada.

    I recognize that in the Hammond family and in the Kish family this may not be the paramount issue. The Hammond’s want punishment for a crime commited, and the Kish’s want to believe in the innocence of their daughter.

    That is completely understandable.

    But for the larger picture, in which an outside view is necessary – the courts cannot convict someone simply because someone needs to pay for the crime. If this happens, it will not be long before the police can accuse whomever they want of whatever they want and the courts will convict on the slightest of evidence.

    The history of law, which is tightly wound up in the history of democracy, has been the history of fighting against arbitrary convictions. Arbitrary accusations have been used to convict people of color, the poor, and political opposition for a millenia.

    If Nicole Kish killed Ross Hammond then throw her in jail. If it makes you feel better throw away the key.

    Just prove she did it first.

    • shawna permalink
      September 18, 2011 5:18 pm

      well said, thank you for reminding us all of the real issue at hand (putting all else aside, and yes I admit I support Nyki, though do not think Ross’s death is any less tragic), that they have made a ruling in court that now allows a judge to convict people with out proven guilt. leaving us guilty until proven innocent that is a scary place to be.

  11. dookie permalink
    March 14, 2011 8:01 pm

    That is very true but also people of wealth, white people no matter of their political views have also been wrongfully convicted. I would like to think that Canadians as a whole are a little more objective than that. So don’t say they are treated any differently because I do not think that this is the case. Your average panhandler doesn’t make bail for $160000. As a society I would like to think that we overcome the issues of race,economic status or political views and seek the truth in matters where crime has happened. Take a look at what constitutes a conviction of murder according to the law in Canada. All those bases were covered in this trial and yes beyond a shadow of a doubt it was proved that a second degree murder conviction was met according to Canadian law. I have all the confidence in our judicial system that things were conducted fairly and according to the law in this case. Murder is murder no matter whose gun or knife you use or whatever color, economic status or political view you share. You can’t blame everything on social injustice some things are what they are as unfortunate as that is!

    • SHANE HAMMOND permalink
      March 15, 2011 5:51 pm

      I AM A MAJOR IN LAW AND A HUGE SUPPORTER AGAINST VIOLENCE OF WOMAN FACT JUST SO YOU KNOW THERE ARE ALOT OF CASES WERE WOMAN HAVE BEEN FOUND DEAD IN THERE HOUSES AND THE ONLY WITNESSES COULD SAY THEY SAW THE MAN BEFORE OR AFTER WARDS WITH THE KNIFE DID THE GUY DO IT YES AND I AM SURE YOU HAVE ALL READ STORIES LIKE THAT. BUT I AM SURE YOU DIDNT TRY TO FREE HIM. I CAN HONESTLY SAY NICOLE KISH IS NOT INNOCCENT AND SHOULD NOT BE FREE. BUT MURDER IN THE FIRST DEGREE IS NOT THE ISSUE THAT IS WHY SHE IS LUCKY NO ONE SAW HER DO IT. OR WILLING TO TELL SHE DID IT. AS FOR HER FAMILY THE MEMORIES OF HER ARE OF A CHILD AND ITS HARD TO LOOSE THAT THOUGHT AND I HOPE THEY NEVER DO. ROSS WAS WITH HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS ALL THE TIME WE KNOW WHAT TYPE OF PERSON HE WAS BEFORE HE LEFT US. SO ANY UNBIAS POSTERS PLEASE LOOK HARDER INTO THIS CASE ITS NOT JUST CANADIAN LAW THAT WOULD CONVICT WITH THIS EVIDENCE AND IF WE LET EVERYONE FREE BECAUSE NO ONE SAW THE PERSON KILLING THE OTHER THEN EMPTY THE PRISONS AND BUY A GUN TO PROTECT YOURSELF THINK ABOUT THAT.

  12. dookie permalink
    March 15, 2011 11:39 pm

    Well thank you for your “outside” view, I guess that answers how many times you were present in court, enough said. Therefore one must conclude that your “outside” view is all but one sided and not completely informed. Funny, the judge in this matter was the one and same who gave her bail originally, if he was so one sided and ready to convict “just because” then why did he grant her bail? And to speak of the 20+ witnesses, the defense had opportunity to call anyone and as many as they wanted, they didn’t. Perhaps Nicole should have spoke up, oh again, she didn’t. The letter of the law was followed, period.

    • knight permalink
      March 19, 2011 3:20 am

      maybe her lawyer told her to keep her mouth shut .. Just maybe ..

  13. LogicOverEmotion permalink
    March 17, 2011 5:21 pm

    1. “Your average panhandler doesn’t make bail for $160000.”

    I agree, she doesn’t sound like your “average panhandler”, whatever that means. Thank you for pointing this out.

    2. “And lets be honest Ross’s behaviour did not warrent (sic) death and i havent heard an appology (sic) yet if someone was innocent think about that.”

    So in your mind, if a person claiming innocence doesn’t apologize for a crime, this establishes their guilt?

    3. “Out of curiosity Mr. Hinze how many times if any were you present at the trial?”

    It seems that reading the trial testimony would suffice, the only reason a person would need to physically be in the court to understand the testimony would be if they are illiterate.

    4. “BUT MURDER IN THE FIRST DEGREE IS NOT THE ISSUE THAT IS WHY SHE IS LUCKY NO ONE SAW HER DO IT. OR WILLING TO TELL SHE DID IT.”

    So it’s acceptable in your mind to convict a person based on NO witnesses and NO testimony of her guilt, as long as the charge isn’t first degree murder? And you’re a law major? This is honestly frightening.

    5. “Given that the police arrested moms and 12-year-olds at the G20 simply for “being there” (i.e. in their own neighbourhoods) attests to this potential abuse of power.”

    Interesting that you point this out, because the lead detective for the G-20 cases and the lead detective responsible for upgrading Kish’s charges are one and the same person – Detective Sargeant Gary Giroux. It appears that this detective testified that losing two surveillance videos while in police custody was of little consequence.

    **************************************************************************

    Here are the things I would like to say, based on what I’ve read about this trial through various news sources

    Life is precious, and regardless of what you believe about this case, a tragedy occurred that night in 2007, and a man with a wife and family who clearly love him deeply unneccessarily lost his life. We can argue semantics but this is indisputable.

    Life is precious, and regardless of what you believe about this case, a tragedy occurred that day in 2011, and a woman with friends and family who clearly love her deeply unneccessarily lost her right to freedom, despite no eyewitnesses testifying to her guilt or involvement beyond screaming for help and for people to call the police.

    Pointing out that both Kish and Hammond’s DNA were found on the knife in question only establishes that they were both stabbed. We know this already. If we are to believe the witness testimony, this occurred at or around the same time that Kish was screaming for help.

    BUT HERE’S WHAT I’D REALLY LIKE TO POINT OUT:
    THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY SUGGESTED TRIAL BY JUDGE RATHER THAN JURY. It appears the Crown initially denied this request, stating that despite intense media coverage the jury pool hadn’t been tainted. Just after this, the Crown reversed the decision, and the judge who eventually presided over the case contacted the defense lawyer and requested to be put on the case, to which the lawyer agreed. This in and of itself seems like grounds for a new trial. Can anyone explain why Canadian law allows a judge to request a case, and why a defense lawyer would agree?

    I understand that the victims family wants justice served. I don’t understand why they think justice has been served. I would think they would want to honor Mr. Hammond’s memory by holding the guilty person responsible, and in my mind the evidence does not suggest beyond any reasonable person’s idea of reasonable doubt that this is what has occurred.
    If someone would respond with facts and evidence supporting what you’re saying, rather than outrage that I don’t believe illogical things blindly, I would appreciate it. Thank you Mr. Hinze for your objectivity.

    • laura permalink
      March 23, 2011 1:48 pm

      THATS A SCARY THOUGHT!!!!!!!!!!

  14. dookie permalink
    March 23, 2011 3:17 am

    “Can anyone explain why Canadian law allows a judge to request a case, and why a defense lawyer would agree?”

    Why the lawyer would agree??? Probably because the same judge had granted her bail! ….. guess they thought they had an ally.

    “I understand that the victims family wants justice served. I don’t understand why they think justice has been served. I would think they would want to honor Mr. Hammond’s memory by holding the guilty person responsible, and in my mind the evidence does not suggest beyond any reasonable person’s idea of reasonable doubt that this is what has occurred.”

    Do not speak for Ross’s family, you have NO grounds to do so, we are capable of doing so ourselves. As far as your opinion as to reasonable doubt, unless you have a law degree to pull out of your ass and the years of experience of Judge Nordheimer … well enough said.
    We don’t just think justice was served we BELIEVE it has, but there are not enough years she can spend in jail to take away our pain and suffering.

    And the evidence you speak of? You are versed in ALL of it???? Each and every bit of testimony??? Doubtful.

    And , a judge CANNOT convict just “because he/she feels like it”.

    Lastly, the case was tried and a ruling was heard, period. We know the Kish family would want to believe she didn’t do it, who wouldn’t when its your own family member, that’s a given and understood. And this is a tragedy all around, but crime does not come without consequences.

    • LogicOverEmotion permalink
      March 24, 2011 2:42 am

      Dookie (nice name), you said: And , a judge CANNOT convict just “because he/she feels like it”.

      This statement alone reflects poorly on you. First: You’re not actually “quoting” anything anyone said. Second: Why, in the scope of your understanding, is this unimaginable? Is it really impossible? Or just something that you don’t understand? Wrongful convictions happen ALL THE TIME.

  15. March 23, 2011 11:06 am

    I belive that Nicole Kish is innocent. The cops the people that are supposed to “help” us lost the only videos that could of proved her inncoent. Now a 24 year old young woman is behind bars for something that she did not do. Yes she was there we all know that, but there is a reasonable doubt, and Nicole Kish had her charter rights breached witch the judge completly disregared. the truth will prevail and Nyki will return to Hamilton where she belongs.

  16. LogicOverEmotion permalink
    March 23, 2011 5:43 pm

    I did read the entirety of the near-40 page transcript of the Judge’s explanation for his ruling. I did read every document that has been made publicly available thus far. I did read the transcript of Faith Watts’ recorded trial testimony.

    I was NOT trying to speak on behalf of the victim’s family, I was trying to express how I would feel (and have felt) in this situation. I had a close friend who was stabbed to death in New Orleans in 2009 and no one was ever charged. And I wonder whether the culprit has killed anyone else since then. This is what brought my attention to THIS case and THIS article, and why I’ve been following the comments. If you convict the wrong person then the perpetrator got away with it while an innocent person sits in jail. The idea of feeling satisfied with this outcome is, to me, abhorrent.

    The author of this article said:
    “Okay, one last time I am going to try and make my thoughts clear. As an outsider, with no emotional stake in this case, I want to know the following: ‘Did the prosecution, beyond a reasonable doubt, establish that Nicole Kish killed Ross Hammond, with the murder weapon?’ ”

    This IS the fundamental point, it’s all I would like answered as well. I haven’t, in all the testimony I’ve read, or any of the opinions I’ve read here, come to the conclusion that Kish’s guilt was established beyond a reasonable doubt.

    The idea that someone has to have been physically present in the courtroom to have the right to an OPINION on this matter is ABSURD. I don’t have a law degree, and I can tell you don’t either because lawyers consistently have a firmer grasp of grammar and syntax than you’ve displayed here. If I followed your logic, then your opinion would be useless as well. But it’s not. We all have a right to our opinions.

    P.S. Why do you think that BELIEVING something is superior to THINKING something? Seriously.

  17. whoops permalink
    April 4, 2011 10:43 pm

    I’m not convinced she’s innocent, but she sure as hell isn’t guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Not even close.

    Eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable, and you’re right, its scary as hell that you can go to jail for 12 years only based on what someone might or might not have seen for a few seconds 4 years ago.

    Four people on the scene besides her, any of them could’ve done it. She should’ve walked out a free woman, just because of that.

    Hopefully for all of us, an appeal might set things right.

  18. Kat permalink
    April 9, 2011 3:26 pm

    This is a crying shame. The victims family lost their son and the other victim in this case lost their daughter. If Nyki had been out bar hopping would this court case have had a different outcome? Did you hear about the young homeless girl who got thrown in front of a bus and killed in an altercation by a young male in Victoria? When the shoe was on the other foot the young man was not found guilty. He killed some homeless person and he got zip. Yet a homeless girl did not kill anyone and she is serving atleast 12 years. Doesn’t make much sense to me or anyone who knows the truth. Maybe all of Ross Hammonds relatives could just leave Nyki and her family and friends alone now that they feel justice has been served. Maybe people in support of Nyki won’t have to get threatening e-mails simply for supporting an innocent young life. Then again maybe pigs will fly. Free Nyki!!!

  19. LouLou permalink
    April 12, 2011 11:51 pm

    Freedom of speech. Exercised so well on this site
    Having followed this trial as close as most that post on these sites (and that is MANY) I feel now is time for someone not a family member/friend to state an opinion
    1. Ms Kish Choose to sit before a Judge alone. Given the right to a jury of her peers she declined. No doubt on the advice of counsel.
    2. DNA……..and lack thereof does not make a case. Copious Amounts found on Nicole Kish is not relevant at all.
    3. No, not a person seen her mortally wound Mr Hammond that night. Resulting is his loss of life.
    4. THIS is the point whereas the JUDGE in all his wisdom must apply the law. Now the Kish Family fails to comprehend that fact. When addressing the verdict the Judge stated that he must tell jurors as he applied to himself…….When in doubt one must apply innocents to which HE DID.
    5. To the Kish Family…..I am certain your in denial and you without a doubt feel your daughter/sister is innocent.
    6. Notably the attorney your family has hired is an attorney in FINE standing.
    The Supreme Court of Canada will determine if an appeal is applicable. They will have to find error in the Judges ruling. To which the Kish family and Defense attorney had no objection UNTIL the verdict.
    7. For all the directions to freenyki.org….your site should provide all testimony and not the only one you feel favourable. Gathering support from the public can have serious *blowback*
    8. The Death of Reasonable Doubt?? NOT LIKELY!
    Careful what you wish for on the steps of the same court that just convicted!

  20. Notconnected permalink
    April 18, 2011 12:37 am

    I have read what I can find: documents, blogs , news articles etc. Why? I have an interst in social justice issues and a friend who owns a business that Kish frequented sent me an email about it.

    The more i dig, the more disturbing it becomes. Partially because the judge’s verdict and justification seems rather fabircated to fit the charge rather than trying to find the truth from all the evidence or lack of evidence presented.

    Also, because in my search I have been reading some other Canadian cases including several rather famous and not so famous cases of wrongful conviction.

    While there are holes in which guilt may be true but it is not established with any clarity nor evidence.

    Instead it is manufactured from the bits the judge decided to accept with a few interpretations of his own thrown in for good measure.

    Is this Justice?

    A big link among many wrongful convictions is the accused are marginalised in some way. In Kish’s case the whole panhandler label and her street nomadic lifestyle marginalises her to many in society.

    Add to this that various media reporting on the same aspect of the story tell differing accounts as do witnesses, none of whom appear to ID Kish as even armed without much reservation and insecurity as many confused the two girls.

    Even the act of panhandling has been accepted but seems only to be corroborated by the victims friend who’s testimony has many strange inconsistencies.

    Further, looking at the nature of the accused and the fact that she was not truly in any desperate need nor with any previous convictions, it is a tough sell to believe she killed Mr. Hammond.

    I did not hear testimony directly; I was not at court so maybe I am missing something but going from the Judge’s ruling testimony I can see where he is coming from and can not agree with many of his interpretations, nor with some of the things he simply chose to dismiss or rearrange for the witness to fit his theory.

    What people often forget is that a wrongful conviction only doubles the number of victims. We already have Mr. Hammond who did not deserve to die for his words nor his refusal to leave. Our society should be safer than that.

    But the punishment should fall upon the perpetrator and from the case it does not look like they found them. So it could be that the killer is escaping punishment which is not justice for Mr. Hammond.

    I would even go so far as to say the investigation either did not or could not gather sufficient evidence to conclusively find the killer so they built it around the one participant to the conflict they had the strongest grip on, Canadian Nicole Kish.

    I am saddened but understand the anger from the Hammond Family as they are wounded just as surely as Mr Hammond. I can only imagine the pain they have suffered throughout this ordeal and any claim that the verdict is wrong would likely only deepen a wound trying to heal. That is what I believe though not knowing them I cannot say for sure so please do not assume I am speaking for anyone but myself.

    I think the perpetrator was likely the actual owner of the knife who would have been especially enraged given their intoxicated state and the beating ther boyfriend suffered but I cannot prove that either.

    I did not seek to take a side but merely find the truth and am still looking. But I do not think justice was served here for neither the accused nor the victim. Instead I see a further erosion of our justice system that has been in need of reform for some time.

  21. LouLou permalink
    April 26, 2011 7:51 pm

    As the Kish families continues to Appeal the conviction……..attempting to keep public awareness as they should…..Where did the testimony of Faith Watts end up. It was a viable part of the defense as The Kish family has stated.
    For some reason it has been REMOVED from free nyki site.

  22. LouLou permalink
    April 29, 2011 8:55 pm

    As per my request, with no results. Could someone direct me to where I can find the testimony of *Faith Watts*. Having followed this trial and noting the Kish family has fine legal representation…..I would like to continue investin time to reading this in its entirety.
    The testimony of Faith Watts has been removed from feenyiki.org site
    I dont care why they removed….I just want to read them once again.
    Thanx LouLou

  23. May 3, 2011 12:48 am

    I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.-Martin Luther King, Jr

  24. Wondering Where/Why permalink
    May 3, 2011 11:48 pm

    I have watched and kept to date as much as possible the conviction of 2nd degree murder of Nicole Kish. Having been to freenyki.com multiple times, I understand the familyand supporters of Ms Kish attempting to keep alive her *story*. Contact the cbc??
    I like most other have been directed to various sites attempting to keep her case alive.
    Now I will again ask…….WHY was the testimony of Faith Watts removed from http://www.freenyki.com?
    A group of us that have followed this case noted as well. Be it that the testimony of Ms Watts is paramount in her attempt for a new trial, I am left with only my curiousity as to why it was removed from the http://www.freenyki.com site.
    If anyone could direct me on how to find the testimony it would be greatly appreciated.

  25. Matt Baratta permalink
    April 12, 2012 7:26 pm

    A few comments on this case. First, Nyki was not a panhandler. She was a writer, song writer and singer amongst other things. Second, the knife in question was not owned by Nyki. Faith Watts owned that knife. I have researched this case for months and there is no question that Nyki is 100% innocent of all charges.

    In summary, I believe that Nicole Kish is innocent for the following reasons.

    1) There was none of the deceased’s (Ross Hammond) DNA found on Nyki during the initial investigation. I understood there was a very small amount of the victim’s DNA found on Nyki’s shoe during a fifth forensic exam which was done some time after the initial investigation.
    2) Another person who was present, Faith Watts, did have Mr. Hammond’s DNA on her and she was returned to the United States without being charged. In addition, Ms. Watts admitted to owning the knife that was the murder weapon in court.
    3) Not one witness at the trial could positively identify Nyki as the person who stabbed Mr. Hammond.
    4) Two surveillance videos that might have cleared Nyki disappeared even though the police had access to them before the trial.
    5) There was testimony in the trial of Nyki screaming out for someone to call 911 before the major violence broke out. This is not something that a person contemplating murder would normally do.
    6) There were witness reports of someone else discussing their involvement in Mr. Hammond’s murder but they have not been properly identified or questioned, therefore it does not appear there was any valid reason to eliminate this person as a suspect.

  26. Matt Baratta permalink
    April 12, 2012 7:27 pm

    Nyki’s Nightmare Needs to End in 2012 by Matt Baratta December 30, 2011
    On October 25, 2011, I wrote an article titled “Amanda Knox Is Finally Free.” In this article, I stated, “I want to start out by saying that this is the greatest injustice that I have ever had any knowledge of.” Unfortunately, I have come across another case that is very similar to Amanda’s. This one involves a Canadian citizen, Nicole (“Nyki”) Kish, who was convicted of murder in Toronto. As of this writing, Nyki has served 3.5 years of in house arrest and 9 months of jail time in a maximum security facility. I did not learn about Amanda Knox until the appeal was well under way so I did not have an opportunity to get personally involved in her case other than to make a donation to her defense fund. When I learned about Nyki’s case through one of the Amanda Knox support sites on Facebook, I decided to get personally involved and try and help Nyki and family. Fortunately, Nyki has very strong support from her family and some devoted friends. My contact has been Nyki’s mother, Tina, who is extremely dedicated and loyal to Nyki. She has a four year old sister, Toria, who is very supportive and outspoken in claiming Nyki’s innocence. Nyki also enjoys great support from her father and grandmother.
    Nyki’s nightmare began on her 21st birthday, August, 9, 2007. She was out with friends in Toronto celebrating her birthday when an altercation broke out and she suffered stab wounds and Ross Hammond was stabbed to death. Despite the fact that there is no physical evidence that links Nyki to the murder except she was in the vicinity, Nyki was accused and convicted of second degree murder which carries a life sentence with no possibility of parole for 12 years. When trying to determine how Nyki could have been convicted consider the following: 1) There was testimony in the trial of Nyki screaming out for someone to call 911 before the major violence broke out, 2) There was none of the deceased’s (Ross Hammond) DNA on Nyki, 3) Another person who was present, Faith Watts, did have Mr. Hammond’s DNA on her and she was sent back to the US without being incarcerated, 4) There were reports of someone else discussing their involvement in Mr. Hammond’s murder but they have not been questioned or incarcerated, 5) not one witness at the trial could positively identify Nyki as the person who stabbed Mr. Hammond and 6) Two surveillance videos that could have cleared Nyki disappeared even though the police had access to them before the trial.
    Nyki did not receive a trial by jury. Instead, she was convicted by one judge who spent very little time in rendering his verdict compared to other comparable cases. Lastly, the media portrayed the case as the Panhandler Murder and presented Nyki as being guilty. Nyki is anything but a panhandler as she was a writer, poet, singer and community activist before being jailed. She also started a nonprofit business to provide books for prisoners since the Canadian government does not fund books in prisons. Lastly, she had no previous criminal record or history of violence.
    Nyki is very close with her four year old sister, Toria. As I researched this case, I kept asking myself how does Toria feel and how can this be explained to her? How does Tina explain to Toria that Nyki is being punished for a crime that she did not commit? How do you explain to a four year old that life is not fair and justice does not always happen? How do you encourage your young daughter to do the right things when she sees her sister wrongly jailed? I emphasize this because so many people are hurt when someone is wrongly incarcerated. In Nyki’s case, her entire family and group friends do not get to experience her positive impact since she is away from them. To get bail, six family members (her mother, her mother’s husband, her father, her grandmother and her mother’s two sisters) agreed to have a second mortgage put on their homes so Nyki could get in house arrest instead of jail time for 3.5 years leading up to the trial.
    There was testimony in the trial of Nyki screaming out for someone to call 911 before the major violence broke out. Just ask yourself a logical question. If Nyki was planning to murder someone, would she be screaming out for someone to call 911or would she want to keep it quiet? A guilty person would want to keep it quiet and an innocent person would be calling for assistance to avoid violence. How do we explain to Toria that Nyki did exactly what she should have done but is being punished for it?
    There was none of Ross Hammond’s DNA on Nyki. How can this be possible if Nyki murdered him as accused? The only way this could be possible would be if Nyki threw the knife at Mr. Hammond but since the testimony says that Mr. Hammond was stabbed, this is not possible. The newspaper The Dominion published an article on June 17, 2011, titled Convicted by the Media, Sentenced by the Courts http://www.dominionpaper.ca/articles/4004 that offers some good insight. The part that really hit me was “Out of the 20 witnesses to testify at the trial, not one identified Kish or saw anyone stabbed that night. In rendering his verdict, Justice Nordheimer addressed this as being inconsequential, saying, “In this case we are not dealing with direct identification but rather with circumstantial identification.” The article quotes the judge who determined Nyki’s fate and admits the evidence was circumstantial. How do we explain to Toria that the judge admits there was no proof that Nyki is guilty but she was convicted anyway?
    Another person who was present, Faith Watts, did have Mr. Hammond’s DNA on her and she was sent back to the US without being incarcerated. Faith Watts owned the knife that was the murder weapon and this was stated in court. This combined with Ms. Watt’s having Mr. Hammonds’ DNA on her person should be enough to at least investigate the possibility that someone other than Nyki Kish committed the murder. Here is another quote from The Dominion article referenced above “Two witnesses did testify to seeing a woman in possession of a knife. Kish’s former co-accused, Faith Watts, testified to having pulled out a knife during the altercation and said she had done so out fear for her life and the life of her boyfriend, who witnesses testify was beaten unconscious. Additionally, a substantial amount of DNA was found on Watts’s clothing. However, Nordheimer attributed the DNA findings as being the “limitations of physical evidence,” and while he acknowledged that the knife belonged to Watts, he goes so far as to suggest the knife may have changed hands three times before its fatal use. Stating his case for conviction, he focused on Kish being stabbed, saying that since Kish had been stabbed, there’s an “irresistible inference” that she must have killed Hammond.” How do you convict someone of murder on an “irresistible inference”? How do we explain to Toria that her sister is in jail because of the judge’s gut feeling?
    There were reports of someone else discussing their involvement in Mr. Hammond’s murder but they have not been questioned or incarcerated. It seems as though, the prosecution decided to pursue Nyki Kish from the very beginning and had no desire to fully investigate the murder of Ross Hammond. How else can it be explained that two possible suspects were not investigated in more detail? This is so similar to the Amanda Knox case where the prosecution focused their efforts on finding a way to convict Amanda instead of searching for the murder(s) of Meredith Kerchner. Could this be because Nyki was a community activist? How do we explain to Toria that the police did not fully investigate the crime that her sister is currently jail for supposedly committing?
    Two surveillance videos that could have cleared Nyki disappeared even though the police had access to them before Nyki’s trial. How can this happen with today’s technology? How can this be overlooked in the judge’s verdict? This is evidence that could have completely cleared Nyki. How do we explain to Toria that there was evidence that could have cleared her sister that vanished?
    Not one witness at the trial could positively identify Nyki as the person who stabbed Mr. Hammond. Let me sum this up, we have no eye witness to the murder, no motive for Nyki to murder Ross Hammond and the murder weapon belongs to another woman who was sent back to the United States. How did this case even make it to trail to begin with? How do we explain to Toria that the evidence does not point to her sister being involved in a crime but she is in jail anyway?
    After researching this case, I have determined that there is so much reasonable doubt that Nyki Kish cannot possibly be guilty of second degree murder. In the absolute worst case scenario, I could see Nyki possibly acting out of self defense since she suffered stab wounds herself and was described as hysterical when this happened. I could see the possibility of temporary insanity given the word hysterical was used to describe Nyki’s state of mind after she was stabbed. The bottom line is that no one saw her commit the act, she had no motive to commit the act and she did not own the murder weapon but someone else who was present that night did. And how do we answer the question about the surveillance video that vanished? Was anyone charged and convicted of stabbing Nyki Kish? I conclude that Nyki Kish is innocent and should be released from prison as soon as it is legally possible and be reunited with her mom, sister, father and grandmother in addition to all of her friends.
    Lastly, I would like to ask from assistance from as many of you as possible. There are many ways to assist Nyki and family. The most obvious way is to contribute to her legal defense fund. You can do this by checking out http://www.freenyki.org/. This website also gives additional facts about the case and shares some of Nyki’s music and writings. The writing that affected me the most was her description of the living conditions in the prison http://www.freenyki.org/blog/2011/8/9/life-in-prison.html. You can also keep up with developments in Nyki’s life by looking at the Free Nyki Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/#!/FreeNyki. The best way to support Nyki is to write her to express your support. When sending mail to Nyki, you must address the letter to Nicole Kish or she will not get your letter. She likes pictures so she has something to look at other than the walls of her jail cell. I sent her some pictures of Emerald Lake. The address is:
    Grand Valley, 1575 Homer Watson Blvd,
    Kitchener, Ontario
    N2P 2C5
    Max Unit
    Atten: Nicole Kish
    Lets hope that 2012 will be the year that Nyki Kish is freed and returned to her family and friends.

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