The Brandt Trial

1839
Sir John A Macdonald circa 1842 or 1843. Artist unknown. Source: Library and Archives Canada.Pinterest
Sir John A Macdonald circa 1842 or 1843. Artist unknown. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

In the autumn of 1839, John A. defended Abraham Brandt, a Mohawk man, against the charge of murder in the brutal beating and death of fellow Mohawk man, John Marrikell. John A. argued that the circumstances of the murder – the dark house, the drunkenness of everyone involved including the witnesses – meant that certainty about pre-meditation about the murder could not be known and that manslaughter was, at most, the charge Brandt could be found guilty of. The jury agreed and, in the end, Brandt was sentenced to only six months.