Gerald Stanley trial in the death of Colten Boushie

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Timebandit Timebandit's picture
Gerald Stanley trial in the death of Colten Boushie

I've been following along on Twitter. Jury selection was yesterday - all indigenous-looking jurors were challenged. Looks like Gerald Stanley has a jury of his peers, all right. Trial started this morning, starting with forensics and police witnesses.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/colten-boushie-gerald-stanley-tr...

This is going to be a hugely important case. White, rural Canada is on trial along with Stanley.

6079_Smith_W

This doesn't change the fact that jury selection process is an outrage, but it shows that isn't the end of the story:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/boushie-jury-selection-opinion-b...

6079_Smith_W
Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Kind of sounds like Canada's George Zimmerman.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Very much like. 

The twitter comments supporting protection of property with firearms were totally sickening this evening. 

Hurtin Albertan

Just keep in mind we have a legal system, it is completely off base to refer to it as a justice system.  Any justice that comes out of it is purely coincidental.

6079_Smith_W

Important perspective:

I spoke briefly to his uncle Alvin Baptiste and he told me that the case has been very difficult for his sister Debbie Baptiste, who is also the mother of the deceased. “She has to leave when they show pictures or refer to him in the testimony,” he told me.

He also told me that his mother refuses to attend and hear her grandson’s name over and over again and to see pictures of his deceased body entered as evidence.

One of the witnesses, Eric Meechance, was asked to identify a rifle that was allegedly in their possession. He was shown a picture of the rifle beside the body of the deceased. He asked why they showed him that picture and he broke down. He had been shown a picture of his dead friend, and that was a cultural taboo.

http://thestarphoenix.com/opinion/columnists/cuthand-first-nations-tradi...

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Doug Cuthand is an important voice. I'm glad he is still writing for the Star Phoenix. I wish he was still making films, too. Anyway, some much needed context. 

pookie

Honest question.  How is the Crown supposed to prosecute a murder trial, and defence to defend against it, consistent with cultural traditions?  Does that apply only to certain cultures?

6079_Smith_W

Obviously they cannot do that pookie. I think Cuthand's point is that we should appreciate how difficult this is for everyone involved. This is yet another aspect of their culture that not only is being violated by our ways, but another one which we are completely unaware of and have no appreciation for.

That's what I take from it, anyway.

(edit)

But by way of comparision I can think of trials where horrible evidence was shown only to the jury and those who had to see it. Maybe if our justice system had more sensitivity we would be aware of these violations.

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Not guilty. Fuck.

 

swallow
Aristotleded24

Unfortunately not much has changed:

Quote:

A jury has acquitted two Saskatchewan men accused of plying a 12-year-old girl with beer and then trying to have sex with her.

After deliberating for 13 hours, the eight-woman, four-man jury returned Thursday night with verdicts of not guilty for Jeffrey Brown, 25, and Jeffrey Kindrat, 21, both from the nearby town of Tisdale.

...

The court heard the girl left her home on the Yellow Quill reserve after an argument with her mother in September 2001. She walked to the small town of Chelan and met the three men while she sat on the steps of a bar. They offered her a ride in their pickup truck and she accepted.

The girl, now 14, testified she did not want to have sex with the men and tried to pull her pants back up when Mr. Brown pulled them down.

Mr. Edmondson, 26, testified the sexual activity started when the girl jumped into his lap and began kissing him. Mr. Edmondson testified that all of them were drunk when they pulled over on a road near Tisdale and took turns trying to have sex with her. But he said he was unable to get an erection and he didn't see if his friends were any more successful.

They really should start spelling that province's name with 3 ks, not one.

6079_Smith_W

There's a long history of the KKK in Saskatchewan. It also played a role in the killing of Leo Lachance 25 years ago (the judge in the Stanley trial was an RCMP lawyer in that case).

http://mindytran.com/leolachance.htm

Thing is, racism is everywhere in this country. You only have to look at the coverage of the Raymond Cormier trial in Winnipeg to see that. We don't do anything to challenge it by pointing out how much worse it is elsewhere.

One of the things called for at the rally in Regina was to document examples of online racism in the wake of this trial and forward it to the Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1616155098463060&set=a.154451427...

Aristotleded24

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Thing is, racism is everywhere in this country. You only have to look at the coverage of the Raymond Cormier trial in Winnipeg to see that. We don't do anything to challenge it by pointing out how much worse it is elsewhere.

What are you talking about? Stanley is the kind of person people see as a salt-of-the-earth-regular-hard-working-farmer kind of guy and I think that's what played a role in his acquital. The picture of Cormier that the press has used in the Tina Fontaine case is not particularly flattering, he seems to come across as a "loser," and for that reason I expect he will be convicted of at least something.

And yes, I agree that racism is a problem in Winnipeg as well. It's one of the reasons that Kevin Chief lost the federal by-election to replace Judy Wasylicia-Leis.

6079_Smith_W

I was actually talking about the racist news coverage that smeared the victim, same as the coverage here. But my point is that yes it is terrible in Saskatchewan. It is one of the worst places in this country when it comes to racism. But this case - in particular the racist jury selection process - is an indictment of all of us.

I don't mean to be testy, but I have seen a couple of people elsewhere talk about this as if it is Saskatchewan's problem, even though they live in the city that is ground zero for murdered and missing Indigenous women. It is not helpful rhetoric, and it does nothing to come to terms with the responsibility we all bear to help change things.

Unionist

Posted yesterday by Senator Murray Sinclair on his Facebook page:

Quote:

Today I grieve for my country.
I grieve for a family
that has seen only injustice
from the moment a farmer with a handgun
(why does a farmer need a handgun?)
killed their son.
I grieve for a mother
who saw the police raid her house
and treat her like a criminal
and not the victim she was.
I grieve for other mothers
with empty arms
who are reminded of their own loss
at the hands of others.
and the lack of answers that haunt them still
I grieve for the youth
who now see no hope,
and whose hunger for justice
gives rise to anger.
I grieve for the children
whose lives now have
one more jeopardy.
I grieve for the elders
who have seen this before.
And whose wisdom holds no means
to get through this evenly.
I may grieve for some time.
But then again...
we have been grieving a long time.
This is why
we can’t “just get over it and move on”.
My country won’t let me.

Aristotleded24

6079_Smith_W wrote:
I was actually talking about the racist news coverage that smeared the victim, same as the coverage here. But my point is that yes it is terrible in Saskatchewan. It is one of the worst places in this country when it comes to racism. But this case - in particular the racist jury selection process - is an indictment of all of us.

I don't mean to be testy, but I have seen a couple of people elsewhere talk about this as if it is Saskatchewan's problem, even though they live in the city that is ground zero for murdered and missing Indigenous women. It is not helpful rhetoric, and it does nothing to come to terms with the responsibility we all bear to help change things.

Fair enough. It was more a reference to the fact that Stanley was acquited, while the verdict on the Tina Fontaine case has not yet come in. I haven't followed the news coverage of either that closely so I could have missed something. I have read that the RCMP didn't properly secure evidence in the Boushie case, and that Winnipeg police did see Fontaine around the time she was reported missing and they did not act then.

As for Cormier, I absolutely agree that it would be a different conversation if he was a more "respectable" member of the community.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

This very well written summary came across my Facebook feed. I think it is clear that the jury did not understand what the term reasonable means in the term, beyond a reasonable doubt. This is merely the same settler justice that has prevailed since the days of Almighty Voice.

From Patti LaBoucane’s post:

Let’s be really REALLY clear. 
1. Colten was unarmed. 
2. The defence DID NOT CLAIM self defence. Self defence is not at play here. 
3. Stanley shot Colten at close range in the back of the head. 
4. This case has nothing to do with whether anyone in the SUV had addictions issues. Mental health challenges are not a reason to be shot. 
For anyone labouring under the lies being told, Rob Fiest has laid out the cases as clearly as possible. Here is his post:

As I have been asked by a couple people, I wanted to provide a few thoughts on the evidence at the Gerald Stanley trial. I have kept on top of the trial, as it is of historic importance to our community; have followed the evidence closely in person, in media, and on Twitter; and attended to watch summations of the Crown and Defence cases this morning.

Before talking about the key issues, it is worth talking about what the key issues aren't.

First, there is no debate about basic who, what, when, and where questions. Gerald Stanley held the gun that discharged and killed Colten Boushie and the resultant injury was the cause of death. No debate there was a homicide or that Gerald Stanley caused that homicide. All of that is admitted.

Second, the case is not about self-defence. All the internet yapping about “castle law” and “property rights” came to nothing at trial, and Mr. Stanley did not make a self-defence argument - because the Defence lawyer, knowing his job, knew that Gerald Stanley was not under threat when the gun was fired. In Canadian law, lethal force in self-defence is only justified in the face of threat of serious injury or death to you or another person. That threat did not exist in this case, and, wisely, the Defence did not grasp at that straw. This case changes nothing about the right to self-defence, and those nonsense arguments should stop.

The issue the jury is forced to decide on - the defence put to the jury - is limited only to the defence of accident. And here is where the evidence put forward by Gerald Stanley is exceptionally interesting.

To set the scene (and you will likely know much of this, so skip this paragraph if you like) on the day in question, an SUV carrying Colten Boushie and four other young people came on to the Stanley farm, and was located at various points on the Stanley driveway. Gerald Stanley and his son Sheldon formed the opinion that the young people had come to the farm to steal, and Mr. Stanley and Sheldon Stanley decided to give some form of chase or response. Sheldon ran toward the vehicle and smashed the windshield with a hammer he was carrying. Mr. Stanley kicked out the tail light. After the windshield was smashed, the vehicle carrying Boushie took a hard turn into an SUV owned by the Stanleys, and the Stanleys felt the crash was deliberate and potentially a run at Sheldon. Gerald Stanley ran back to his shed and got a Tokarev pistol. Sheldon went to the house, where there were several other firearms. One of the witnesses in the vehicle claimed that Gerald yelled at Sheldon to go to the house to get a firearm, but Sheldon’s evidence was that he went to the house to retrieve his keys. At that point, Boushie’s vehicle appeared to have been immobilized in the Stanleys’ driveway, and two male occupants exited the vehicle. Two female occupants and Boushie, who was likely passed out or asleep, stayed inside.

Now, here is the crux of Mr. Stanley’s evidence on his defence of accident - and where Mr. Stanley’s evidence becomes truly amazing.

Stanley claimed while in the shed, he loaded the Tokarev with three shells. He claimed he thought he loaded two, but later realized there were three - the same number the RCMP found had been discharged.

Stanley then claimed he pointed the semi-automatic Tokarev up in the air, and began pulling the trigger, to fire “warning shots”. He claimed he fired two warning shots, and after that believed the firearm was empty. After the shots were fired, the two males who exited the vehicle ran from the scene, leaving only Boushie and two female occupants in the vehicle.

Gerald Stanley then claimed, even though he believed he had only put two rounds in the Tokarev, that he pulled the trigger several more times after the warning shots to make the firearm safe, and nothing happened. He then claimed he opened the slide and removed the magazine, also to ensure the firearm was made safe.

Gerald Stanley then claimed he saw the riding lawnmower his wife had been driving parked on the lawn, with his wife no longer driving, and somehow formed the belief that she may have been run over by the vehicle containing Boushie.

Gerald Stanley then claimed he ran to the Boushie vehicle, and wanted to look underneath it to ensure his wife was not there. He claimed as he was going to look under the vehicle, the vehicle revved its engine, and he decided he needed to turn the vehicle off.

Gerald Stanley then claimed, holding the Tokarev in his right hand, he reached through the Boushie SUV’s driver side window with his left hand to try to turn off the ignition. (I encourage you to actually try this, on a vehicle, and think about why you would use your left hand to turn off a vehicle as opposed to switching hands and putting the firearm in your left. Motion it out. Using your left hand makes no sense, and is incredibly awkward.)

Gerald Stanley then claimed that, as he was trying to turn the ignition off, the Tokarev was in his right hand pointed at Colten Boushie’s skull. And Stanley claimed at that moment, a hang-fire occurred - there was still a shell in the Chamber, and the firearm discharged spontaneously without a trigger pull, killing Colten. Despite the fact Stanley had opened the action, pulled the magazine out, and repeatedly dry-fired it. And despite the fact hang-fires are extremely rare, and normally last less than half-a-second.

Gerald Stanley’s defence is the defence of accident. If you believe it, his defence explains all of the physical evidence, and most particularly a Tokarev casing found on the SUV dash and Colten’s DNA found on the Tokarev itself. But to believe it completely, you have to accept the following:

A. Gerald Stanley did not know how many rounds he put into the Tokarev;

B. Gerald Stanley, who believed he or his family were under threat, loaded his firearm with two shells, and then fired both shells in the air, leaving his firearm empty and useless for self-defence;

C. Gerald Stanley tried to make the Tokarev safe by repeatedly pulling its trigger into the air;

D. Gerald Stanley took the time, in this situation, to make the Tokarev safe before proceeding to the vehicle he believed had run over his wife;

E. Gerald Stanley believed the Boushie SUV had run over his wife, even though there was no explanation for his belief, other than his wife not being on the lawnmower;

F. Gerald Stanley went to the window of the vehicle to turn the vehicle off to immobilize it, even though the driver had exited the vehicle, and Colten Boushie, the person nearest the steering wheel, was asleep or passed out;

G. Gerald Stanley used his left hand to attempt to turn off the vehicle ignition, keeping the firearm in his right hand, even though he claimed the firearm was made safe, and using your left hand through a driver’s side window to turn off an ignition is incredibly awkward; and

H. Gerald Stanley experienced a hang-fire - an extremely rare occurrence in itself - with a duration of many seconds - an almost impossible length of time for a hang-fire - at the precise second his Tokarev was aimed at close range at Colten Boushie’s skull.

Points A, C, D, E, and F make Mr. Stanley’s story hard to believe. Points B and G simply make no logical sense whatsoever. Point H is beyond reason, and is a submission somewhere along the lines of the magic bullet that shot JFK. While the story raised by Mr. Stanley is not impossible - in the way that suggesting Colten Boushie having died of a heart attack ten seconds before he was shot is not, by way of example, impossible - in my opinion, it is an extreme stretch to suggest that a story of this level of credibility should raise a reasonable doubt as to Mr. Stanley’s intentions.

This is, from what I have reviewed, a fair synopsis of Mr. Stanley’s evidence that the homicide of Colten Boushie was accidental. If you read it, and catch any errors, feel free to point them out, and I may revise. I have included a link to the CBC synopsis below.

I am not sharing this information to tell you that Mr. Stanley is guilty - whether he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt is for the jury to decide. Rather, I hope it assists folks in understanding what the trial has been about, what it is clearly not about, and the extremely specific chain of unlikely events the jury will have to believe occurred to accept Mr. Stanley’s incredible version of events.

6079_Smith_W

Yup. Really it was about giving the jury an excuse to do what they did.  In fact, this commentator in the Globe makes the point that in pointing out the flaws in Stanley's story the prosecution might have gone too far in boxing them into a corner with the truth. Hard to say.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/the-stanley-verdict-manslaughter...

Another important perspective on all of this:

http://www.canadalandshow.com/gerald-stanley-colten-boushie-and-fear-of-...

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Lawyers warn of political commentary on verdicts after Stanley acquittal

Quote:
The public perception of political interference in criminal trials places the independence of Canada's judiciary system at risk, lawyers say.

Sorry if it's "too soon" or whatever, but they're kind of right.  When politicians act as though the jury got it wrong and should have thought otherwise, it both puts the judicial branch on the spot for "having failed", and ironically exonerates the Crown for having failed.

This is not to say that 99.99% of the population cannot or should not believe that Stanley is guilty.  Just that there's a problem when high-ranking politicians (basically the right and left bower, to borrow euchre terms) make it clear that the jury did not come to the conclusion that they were supposed to and Canada is officially disappointed in them.

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Stanley got away with murder. I'm not up to speed with Canadian trespassing laws but I don't think there's anything in the Charter that gives any individual the right to shoot down someone for trespassing. AFAIK Canada does not have 'stand your own ground laws' and even in the case of someone breaking into your home,shooting them or beating them with a baseball bat will land YOU in a world of trouble.

But hey...Rural Canada,Native American,murder disguised as property protection,predictably the Tories are politically posteuring by attacking Trudeau who has said rightly that this was a case of the judiciary getting it wrong. And I'd agree. An all White jury. Half that jury should have been Native.

I truly hope that this case is going to be appealed and a new trial will follow without an obviously biased,all white jury. Sorry,but I think it's clear that prejudice played a roll in Stanley's acquittal.

And I think it is imperative that the federal government step in and put an end to biased juries in cases that involve any minority,ESPECIALLY Natives.

So fuck off,Scheer.

6079_Smith_W

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Lawyers warn of political commentary on verdicts after Stanley acquittal

Quote:
The public perception of political interference in criminal trials places the independence of Canada's judiciary system at risk, lawyers say.

Sorry if it's "too soon" or whatever, but they're kind of right.  When politicians act as though the jury got it wrong and should have thought otherwise, it both puts the judicial branch on the spot for "having failed", and ironically exonerates the Crown for having failed.

Except they didn't say the jury got it wrong. They said nothing at all about the verdict.

Every recommendation I have heard  has been about the government reconsidering preemptive challenges for juries because of the underrepresentation of Indigenous people. That is a fair concern that has nothing to do with the specifics of this trial.

As for Justin Trudeau expressing sympathy for the family, it is better than our premier warning people that they should watch their mouths and not do anything rash.

 

WWWTT

I’d like to see if Justin Trudeau and the rest of cabinet are actually going to do something beyond making tweets to score political points on other people’s suffering. After all, as far as I know, lots of the faults that led to this injustice falls squarely onto federal jurisdiction. All the the RCMP fuck ups aswell can be addressed. This wasn’t the first time a European descent got away. And something tells me it won’t be the last. If more people actually held politicians to a higher standard, this probably wouldn’t have happened in the first place and everyone would probably still be alive and have respect for each other. 

6079_Smith_W

Well as it says in that FB link up at #14, this might be a good time to write letters to the Justice Department, and your MPs.

 

Aristotleded24

alan smithee wrote:
I'm not up to speed with Canadian trespassing laws but I don't think there's anything in the Charter that gives any individual the right to shoot down someone for trespassing. AFAIK Canada does not have 'stand your own ground laws' and even in the case of someone breaking into your home,shooting them or beating them with a baseball bat will land YOU in a world of trouble.

You have a right to basic self-defense within reason. If you're acting in reasonable fear for your own life or someone else's you can claim self defense. If you catch someone breaking into your garage and manage to subdue the person but the person gets a couple of bruises on the way down, you should be fine. If this person runs from your property and you run after and catch this person and then beat this person to a bloody pulp, that is assault.

None of that applies in this case.

NorthReport

I don't know if this has already been addressed here but it was mentioned on Cross Canada CheckUp today that several Indigenous People were called for jury duty but none actually ended up on the jury. Is that correct?

6079_Smith_W

Four of them were called up, and every one was challenged. That is what the Boushie family's lawyer said at the rally yesterday.

 

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

alan smithee wrote:
I'm not up to speed with Canadian trespassing laws but I don't think there's anything in the Charter that gives any individual the right to shoot down someone for trespassing. AFAIK Canada does not have 'stand your own ground laws' and even in the case of someone breaking into your home,shooting them or beating them with a baseball bat will land YOU in a world of trouble.

You have a right to basic self-defense within reason. If you're acting in reasonable fear for your own life or someone else's you can claim self defense. If you catch someone breaking into your garage and manage to subdue the person but the person gets a couple of bruises on the way down, you should be fine. If this person runs from your property and you run after and catch this person and then beat this person to a bloody pulp, that is assault.

None of that applies in this case.

You highlighted what I have said. Self-defense within reason. This was within reason?

What the hell was his defense? What else could it have been (besides blatant racism) And racism is the reason Stanley walked away from this.

 Maybe Stanley is a 'White nationalist' maybe not but he sure is racist

And I think that applies to the jury. That's the gist of what happened from what I read. You want to explain Stanley's defense in court?

Apparently I'm wrong. But I can't think of another defense one would choose when gunning down someone besides self defense. That gun didn't accidentally kill Boushie,there's just too much accuracy and precision.

Even if the defense was that it was áccidental',it was accidental because he was defending himself with a gun. Why would anyone run out with a gun when some people were on his land? The defense would have to be self defense or protecting his land which is a form of self defending. But what do I know?

Whatever.

zazzo

 I would suggest renaming the title of this thread for clarity and truth.  This was not the Colten Bushie Trial.  This was the Trial of Gerald Stanley in the killing of Colten Boushie.

NorthReport

Thanks Smith.

I know the lawyers were just doing their job to get their client off but something is dreadfully wrong with our legal system that allows all Indigenous people to be scratched from the jury like that. 

And I guess what I want to say to Trudeau is to stop trying to make himself look good by nattering on about Duterte, and clean up the human rights atrocities in Canada's own back yard. And while we are on the topic of the Philippines why is Canada not bringing back Canada's garbage that has been sitting, waiting for years in Manila because the Filipinos don't want Canada's garbage? Who knew!  

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Four of them were called up, and every one was challenged. That is what the Boushie family's lawyer said at the rally yesterday.

 

 

NorthReport
voice of the damned

Smithee wrote:

 truly hope that this case is going to be appealed

Doesn't the so-called Morgentaler Amendment(not sure of the actual name of the law) prevent a not-guitly verdict from being appealed?

 

Caissa

I expected a manslaughter verdict. The executive and judicial branches require separation.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I know the lawyers were just doing their job to get their client off but something is dreadfully wrong with our legal system that allows all Indigenous people to be scratched from the jury like that.

Quote:
I know the lawyers were just doing their job to get their client off but something is dreadfully wrong with our legal system that allows all Indigenous people to be scratched from the jury like that.

Did the Crown reject anyone?  Angry white farmers, for example?

This has been a part of our system since forever.  It's only a problem NOW?

And how should we fix it?

a) no more rejected jurors.  The first 12 chosen by lottery are the jury, no exceptions.

b) only the defense can reject (up to a maximum).

c) only the Crown can reject (up to a maximum).

d) either side may reject, but they must submit an essay for each rejected juror, 4-6 pages double spaced, explaining why they were rejected.  An independent panel of 12 randomly chosen Canadians will review each essay and provide a judgement within six months.

Here's something to consider:  the right to be tried "by a jury of your peers" does not specifically mean you have a right to be tried by a jury of people who look like you, go to the same church as you, or believe as you do.  But whatever else it does mean applies solely to the defendant and never the Crown.

Bacchus

I rather think his friends lying and changing testimony helped a lot to instill 'reasonable doubt' in the minds of the jury as well

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Unfortunately not much has changed:

Quote:

A jury has acquitted two Saskatchewan men accused of plying a 12-year-old girl with beer and then trying to have sex with her.

After deliberating for 13 hours, the eight-woman, four-man jury returned Thursday night with verdicts of not guilty for Jeffrey Brown, 25, and Jeffrey Kindrat, 21, both from the nearby town of Tisdale.

...

The court heard the girl left her home on the Yellow Quill reserve after an argument with her mother in September 2001. She walked to the small town of Chelan and met the three men while she sat on the steps of a bar. They offered her a ride in their pickup truck and she accepted.

The girl, now 14, testified she did not want to have sex with the men and tried to pull her pants back up when Mr. Brown pulled them down.

Mr. Edmondson, 26, testified the sexual activity started when the girl jumped into his lap and began kissing him. Mr. Edmondson testified that all of them were drunk when they pulled over on a road near Tisdale and took turns trying to have sex with her. But he said he was unable to get an erection and he didn't see if his friends were any more successful.

They really should start spelling that province's name with 3 ks, not one.

Why wasn't her being 12 enough to convict them?  I seriously doubt the SasKKKatchewan age of consent is pre-teen, for crissakes.

cco

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Here's something to consider:  the right to be tried "by a jury of your peers" does not specifically mean you have a right to be tried by a jury of people who look like you, go to the same church as you, or believe as you do.  But whatever else it does mean applies solely to the defendant and never the Crown.

If memory serves, as inherited from the British, the principle originally meant that the jury would be drawn from the same social class you (the accused) were: nobles got a jury of nobles, and peasants got a jury of peasants. It wasn't exactly an egalitarian principle then, however nice it sounds today. It was institutionalized surrender to entrenched class distinctions. It never meant a jury of the victim's peers.

Aristotleded24

Bacchus wrote:
I rather think his friends lying and changing testimony helped a lot to instill 'reasonable doubt' in the minds of the jury as well

Funny thing that the redneck crowd overlooked is that Stanley also lied about the gun going off accidentally. Why the double standard? Why were lies told by Boushie's friends enough to discredit the Crown's case but the lie about the gun going off by accident not enough to discredit Stanley?

Aristotleded24

Ken Burch wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:

Unfortunately not much has changed:

Quote:

A jury has acquitted two Saskatchewan men accused of plying a 12-year-old girl with beer and then trying to have sex with her.

After deliberating for 13 hours, the eight-woman, four-man jury returned Thursday night with verdicts of not guilty for Jeffrey Brown, 25, and Jeffrey Kindrat, 21, both from the nearby town of Tisdale.

...

The court heard the girl left her home on the Yellow Quill reserve after an argument with her mother in September 2001. She walked to the small town of Chelan and met the three men while she sat on the steps of a bar. They offered her a ride in their pickup truck and she accepted.

The girl, now 14, testified she did not want to have sex with the men and tried to pull her pants back up when Mr. Brown pulled them down.

Mr. Edmondson, 26, testified the sexual activity started when the girl jumped into his lap and began kissing him. Mr. Edmondson testified that all of them were drunk when they pulled over on a road near Tisdale and took turns trying to have sex with her. But he said he was unable to get an erection and he didn't see if his friends were any more successful.

They really should start spelling that province's name with 3 ks, not one.

Why wasn't her being 12 enough to convict them?  I seriously doubt the SasKKKatchewan age of consent is pre-teen, for crissakes.

I believe the defense used in that case revolved around the belief that she was older than 14, which was the legal age of consent at the time.

I don't have time to look into it right now, but the Saskatchewan branch of the CCPA did publish a commentary about it at the time. It's worth looking into.

Bacchus

Because his story, true or not, basically hasn’t changed and the presence of a rifle led credence to his claim of fear. And before you jump on me for the weaknesses in his defence (which I agree with) all his lawyer needed to do was put some doubt in the juries mind and tadaa you have ‘reasonable doubt’

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Doesn't the so-called Morgentaler Amendment(not sure of the actual name of the law) prevent a not-guitly verdict from being appealed?

Not exactly.  Evidently, a Court of Appeal can order a new trial, but may not reverse an acquittal otherwise.  So the Crown can still appeal, sort of, but not in quite the same way that a Court of Appeal can directly overturn a conviction.  And I assume that in the case of a conviction, the Crown can still appeal the sentence.

Just going by Google here, though.  I didn't know about this until you brought it up.

6079_Smith_W

Yes. If there was something done wrong (for example, the judge's instruction to the jury) that is grounds for an appeal. If that were not so there would probably be no appeals.

Unfortunately the crown and defense already agreed on some pretty bizarre things, like that it was okay for Stanley fire those first two shots, even though some witnesses said they heard them flying and ricocheting.

And "peers" just means people. News flash: Indigenous people are people, even if some don't think so. Last time I was called up one of the wealthiest business guys in the room, who tried to beg off because he was so important wound up on the jury trying someone who at the opposite end of the economic and cultural spectrum. He was still qualified to sit on that jury.

 

JKR

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Bacchus wrote:
I rather think his friends lying and changing testimony helped a lot to instill 'reasonable doubt' in the minds of the jury as well

Funny thing that the redneck crowd overlooked is that Stanley also lied about the gun going off accidentally. Why the double standard? Why were lies told by Boushie's friends enough to discredit the Crown's case but the lie about the gun going off by accident not enough to discredit Stanley?

It seems to me that the jury thought that there was reasonable doubt whether a fatal gun shot was done on purpose. I think their verdict rested on evidence that a "hang fire" could have caused the murder, even if very unlikely. I don't think the jury heard expert evidence that clearly stated a hang fire could not have occurred beyond a reasonable doubt. It seems to me the prosecution should have found a very reputable expert witnesses that showed that a hang fire could not have happened beyond a reasonable doubt. I believe the forensic witness in the trial said that the fatal bullet had an unusual "bulge" that could not be explained. I have no knowledge of guns so I have no idea whether a hang fire could have occurred beyond a reasonable doubt but I think the prosecution failed to clearly show that a hang fire could not have occurred beyond a reasonable doubt. I think it's important to remember that the burden of proof falls on the prosecution.

6079_Smith_W

I think the jury was waiting for any shred that would give them a way to let the white guy off, even a series of obvious lies like his wife being under a car, an extra bullet he didn't know about while he happened to be pointing the gun at the back of his head, and it magically going off even though the trigger requires a 13 pound pull.

The defense lawyer gave that to them,  so of course they did it. No mystery there.

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

JKR, I don't think there was reasonable doubt around the hang fire. Unreasonable doubt, sure.

Hang fires are incredibly rare - an expert testified to that. He also testified that a long hangfire is .58 of a second - most, when they happen, are even shorter than that. A hangfire of many seconds, as would have had to have happened to Stanley, is unheard of. So expert testimony didn't support the claim. The wishful thinking of the jury did. It was an excuse to say there was doubt, where in reality - had they actually considered the expert testimony with the appropriate weight - there should have been none.

JKR

I just checked on YouTube for examples of hangfires. This guy almost shoots himself in the head. Luckily only his hat is injured:

https://youtu.be/Za2ezCNvBeU

It's not a handgun but it does take longer than 0.58 seconds. I guess it is more likely to happen with old ammunition.

6079_Smith_W

Then there's his story about not knowing there was anything in the chamber at all, even though the mechanism was in a position that made that impossible. And he still pulled the trigger. Clearly they were throwing anything at the wall without any concern for whether it was contradictory, or made any sense.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Half that jury should have been Native.

And here's the paradox that underpins the recent interest in jury composition and peremptory challenges.

If we believe that any juror is equal to any other (and all I mean is that if we believe within reason that any juror, regardless of sex, age, ethnicity or class can follow instruction, act in good faith, and deliver a fair and just verdict based on evidence) then we could do as some U.S. states, and the UK have done and abolish peremptory challenges.  But if we believe that, then we should also believe that peremptory challenges serve no purpose but also do no harm.  A waste of time and resources at worst.

In other words, if we're ready to get rid of peremptory challenges because we believe that any juror is a fair juror and  neither the Crown nor the defense should "hand pick" the jury then we should also have no problem with an all white jury, all female jury, all septuagenarian jury or whatever. 

As soon as either side "rejects" someone potentially based on sex, age, ethnicity or class (or for that matter, life experience -- if you're defending an accused carjacker, you probably don't want 6 people on the jury who've been carjacked) we can only assume that it's because that person is perceived as potentially being biased -- for or against the defendant -- at which point excluding them from the jury pool seems much less unreasonable.

Would six Aboriginal jurors have had a better technical insight into "hang-firing"?  Is that why the jury should have been one half Aboriginal?  Or do we think those jurors' life experiences have given them special insight into what racist farmers are "really like" and would have no patience for the legal mumbo-jumbo? 

To put the question even more simply, should the jury have been half Aboriginal on the belief that those jurors would be more likely to convict than the six non-Aboriginals they got instead?  If so then that's still hand-picking a jury to produce a desired outcome, and if not that then what, specificially??

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

JKR wrote:
I just checked on YouTube for examples of hangfires. This guy almost shoots himself in the head. Luckily only his hat is injured: https://youtu.be/Za2ezCNvBeU It's not a handgun but it does take longer than 0.58 seconds. I guess it is more likely to happen with old ammunition.

A hang fire, AFAIK, is a delay between trigger mechanism and firing pin, a mechanical rather than an ammunition issue. Also, even if it is an ammunition issue, there are some differences between shotgun shells and handgun bullets.

Anyway, if you look at the twitter feed on the handgun expert's testimony, they tested the ammunition and the gun itself and were unable to reproduce a hang fire. It's fucking bogus, and as Smith has noted, they were throwing whatever contradictory dust they could into the air to create doubt.

pookie

voice of the damned wrote:

Smithee wrote:

 truly hope that this case is going to be appealed

Doesn't the so-called Morgentaler Amendment(not sure of the actual name of the law) prevent a not-guitly verdict from being appealed?

 

No.  But Court of Appeal can apply what is called the "curative proviso" to leave the verdict intact despite legal errors.  Or, order a new trial.  The only difference between appealing not-guilty v guilty verdict is that higher court may no longer substitute a conviction in the former case.

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