Gerald Stanley trial in the death of Colten Boushie

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swallow swallow's picture

Please read this article for a sense of how quite a few Indigenous peopel feel: http://rabble.ca/news/2018/02/all-white-jury-runs-justice-trial-gerald-s...

6079_Smith_W

Thanks. The link is not working. If you take off the stuff after Stanley's name it should work.

http://rabble.ca/news/2018/02/all-white-jury-runs-justice-trial-gerald-s...

milo204

pondering, i really think most people ARE saying that.  that's the basis for a mansaughter charge:  that even if it was accidental, he still should be found guilty cause someone has to pay.  my position is:  to ask an innocent person to think of the safety of their intruder is too much, only an egregious case like shooting someone in the back as they flee or inflicting harm after the threat has passed (going after them, chasing them down and hurting them) should be a charge. 

but if an accident happens, like during a struggle a gun goes off killing an intruder as happened here my feeling is: well, if they weren't put in that situation by the intruder it never would have happened to begin with so they're no danger to society, why would we lock them up?   this is the reaction most people have in cases like this, and we're not usually outraged by that. 

To me it's clear the outrage here is purely contextual: the media is reporting the facts wrong, people are framing it as racism (erroneously i think), and most people aren't bothering to really look into it before they have already made their conclusions (just look at all the posters here who have the facts totally wrong and mixed up--and we're more informed than most)

6079_Smith_W

The poll suggests that 30 per cent of Canadians surveyed thought the jury's verdict was "good and fair" while 32 per cent thought the outcome was flawed and wrong. Thirty-eight per cent weren't sure, according to the poll.

The results were different among Saskatchewanians, however.

According to the poll, 63 per cent of respondents from Saskatchewan said the opinion the verdict was good and fair, compared to 17 per cent who said it was flawed and wrong.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/angus-reid-boushie-stanley-1....

By an odd coincidence, the Indigenous population of Saskatchewan is 16 percent.

 

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Thanks. The link is not working. If you take off the stuff after Stanley's name it should work.

http://rabble.ca/news/2018/02/all-white-jury-runs-justice-trial-gerald-s...

In the jury box, a dark-haired woman in a short dress and long hooded sweater jumps up as Stanley passes, and runs off camera herself --getting away from the family and the assembled Indians in the courtroom.

The trial was over, Gerald Stanley was being escorted from the courtroom. Why would she stay? I could see her leaving quickly but how do you run out of a jury box? Why would it be out of fear of the family and supporters? Were they rushing the front of the courtroom? If not she was more likely just leaving not running away out of fear of the Indians in the courtroom (just using the author's terminology). 

I watched a bit of Mohawk girls and of course it's a tv show not real life but they were trying to transmit Mohawk culture. A girl comes to the reserve after her parents pass away because her father was Mohawk. A bunch of the girls give her a really hard time but she does make a couple of friends. In one episode they tell her to never look afraid or back down if the other girls come at her because that's how Mohawk girls are. You have to stand your ground.

In grades 6 and 7 students were bused in from what was then called Caughanawaga and is now Kanawake. They were defintely tougher than us and showed it and they traveled in a pack. If you were on the stairs or in a hall they never moved aside, it was up to everyone else to get out of their way because they would just keep walking and push anyone aside that didn't move fast enough. They didn't misbehave or get into more fights than anyone else but I was sure they didn't want to be friends with me. In hindsight I can see that it was bravado. 

“Fights with Native kids were a too-common part of [my friend’s childhood] experience … It’s no overstatement to point out that such kids were, on average, rougher than the white kids, or that they were touchier…”

I'm sure they grew up to be just like the rest of us and move aside in halls etc. but at the time they certainly projected a tougher image and I think it was deliberate. They wanted to look tough. They succeeded. 

Gerald Stanley put Colten Boushie down at point-blank range

The idea that he deliberately walked over, aimed at Boushie's head and fired is not proven and highly unlikely. If he came out intending to murder someone he would have fully loaded and he would have kept shooting to leave no witnesses. 

 these jurors were raised to see us as scary animals, to think of us as wild “wagon burners” -- a slur you hear on the Prairies -- it was easy for them to see why he was justified. "It could have been me and my family," they undoubtedly thought -- and who wouldn’t do anything to protect their families?

Not once has anyone claimed or suggested that Stanley was justified in shooting Colton. 

Colten Boushie didn’t have a family. Indians don’t have “families.” They have braves and squaws, chiefs and papooses, bitches and thugs -- but not a mother and father like the Stanleys are.

I have never met a white person who denies the humanity of indigenous peoples or thinks that they don't have families or considers them animals. That might be an apt description of the most extreme racists but they are rare. That certainly does not describe the jury. 

White people are collectively guilty of a lot and the institutional racism is unforgivable. Indigenous people are entitled to be furious beyond measure. If indigenous people really believe these claims it is counterproductive and other indigenous people would be better off correcting them. There is enough cause for bitterness, resentment and fury. No need to add fuel to the fire assuming the desire is to prevent confrontations that can turn violent. 

Pondering

milo204 wrote:
but if an accident happens, like during a struggle a gun goes off killing an intruder as happened here my feeling is: well, if they weren't put in that situation by the intruder it never would have happened to begin with so they're no danger to society, why would we lock them up?   this is the reaction most people have in cases like this, and we're not usually outraged by that. 

But that isn't what happened. I do believe there was reasonable doubt but reasonable doubt doesn't mean thinking he didn't do anything wrong. The jury might agree that it is probably manslaughter but they can't convict on that if there is reasonable doubt. 

I agree on the media. 

  • Leesa Stanley was riding a lawn mower. 
  • The 5 drive onto the property. One tries to open the door of a van. One gets on an ATV. 
  • Gerald and Stanley see what is happening and come running
  • Gerald yells and the two get back into the vehicle and start it. 
  • The vehicle drives in the general direction of Sheldon who throws a hammer hitting the windshield while his father kicks the taillight.
  • Gerald yells something about getting a gun which he does. Sheldon goes running for his truck or the keys.
  • The driver of the SUV tries to drive it but the missing tire and broken windshield is making it difficult to drive. He hits a car.
  • The driver and his friend get out of the SUV and start running away so fast that one lost his shoes. 
  • Gerald fires two shots.
  • He no longer sees his wife on the lawn mower where he last saw her (don't know when that was)
  • Gerald then runs over to the SUV and reaches in with his left arm to stop the SUV from moving again. 
  • Colton has moved to the driver's seat but hadn't yet pressed on the gas
  • The gun goes off killing Colton with one shot to the head
  • By this time Sheldon is approaching on his way back
  • Gerald backs away from the vehicle
  • One of the woman gets out and opens the driver door at which point Colton falls out.
  • Leesa Stanley has now arrived and she punches her. 
  • Sheldon yells to stop and she does. Gerald tells them to get back in the SUV which they do. 
  • Gerald puts the gun down because he doesn't want to be holding it when the police arrive.
  • All three Stanleys go in the kitchen and drink coffee waiting for police to arrive. 
  • The non-Stanley witnesses were extremely drunk and lied changing their story of what happened. Only one witness claimed to see the shot and she first claimed it was Leesa Stanley and 2 shots. It was only after seeing a picture of Gerald that she said it was him. 

That is pretty much everything known from a factual perspective.

The trial hinged entirely on what was going through Gerald's mind and the possibility of the gun malfunctioning, specifically a hangfire. 

6079_Smith_W

The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP, which is an agency of the federal government, announced Tuesday that it will review how the Battleford RCMP detachment dealt with the Boushie investigation.

The commission has initiated a complaint process regarding the investigation of Boushie's death and the events that followed, including the notification of family, the search of his mother Debbie Baptiste's home and the circulation of media releases regarding the case.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/boushie-rcmp-review-stanley-a...

In the opinion of an independent expert the RCMP were negligent:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/rcmp-sloppy-and-negligent-in-...

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP, which is an agency of the federal government, announced Tuesday that it will review how the Battleford RCMP detachment dealt with the Boushie investigation.

The commission has initiated a complaint process regarding the investigation of Boushie's death and the events that followed, including the notification of family, the search of his mother Debbie Baptiste's home and the circulation of media releases regarding the case.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/boushie-rcmp-review-stanley-a...

In the opinion of an independent expert the RCMP were negligent:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/rcmp-sloppy-and-negligent-in-...

I agree with your second link. There is no doubt the investigation was extremely unprofessional. A person with no training at all would know that the evidence had to be protected. Doesn't the RCMP watch CSI? 

 the family's lawyer, Chris Murphy"I've always believed that if I had been shot and killed that the RCMP would not be coming through my house and searching it."

Wrong in Montreal anyway. In Montreal if someone dies with a gun, broken or otherwise, the swat team would arrive to search the place. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Doesn't the RCMP watch CSI?

If they did then they probably think that all they have to do is take one of the poorly-shot crime scene photos, put it in a CSI-machine, and say "Enhance.  Enhance.  Enhance."

Anyway, it sort of seems like the stuff that the independent investigators flagged as inappropriate isn't really the stuff any participants on this thread flagged.  They seem to have stopped well short of saying "it couldn't have been a hangfire and the defendant was clearly a racist liar."

zazzo

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/rcmp-sloppy-and-negligent-in-...

Sloppy and negligent they say.  I would call it obstruction of justice. 

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Doesn't the RCMP watch CSI?

If they did then they probably think that all they have to do is take one of the poorly-shot crime scene photos, put it in a CSI-machine, and say "Enhance.  Enhance.  Enhance."

Anyway, it sort of seems like the stuff that the independent investigators flagged as inappropriate isn't really the stuff any participants on this thread flagged.  They seem to have stopped well short of saying "it couldn't have been a hangfire and the defendant was clearly a racist liar."

There would have been more evidence had the scene of the death been protected, in particular the area around the vehicle and anywhere there was blood. From what I read it happened on the 9th and the investigators only showed up on the 11th. This is emergency services? Are there really that many incidences this serious that it takes two days to investigate the scene of a death by gunshot? 

Witnesses were questioned by constables not investigators. I'm not a professional, I just watch cop shows, but it makes sense to me for investigators to question everyone separately when such a serious incident occurs. Do we only have part time investigators? Are they not on call? 

Accidently or not Gerald killed a man. He should have been questioned by an investigator before being released. 

A major problem in this case is that justice must be seen to be done and that hasn't happened. I don't know if it is racism or not, allowing the evidence to be washed away by rain is gross incompetence no matter what the reason. 

That evidence might even have proven how the gun was positioned relative to the seat which could have supported or undercut the claim of accidental shooting. Maybe it wouldn't have, but we will never know because the evidence was destroyed. 

6079_Smith_W

Actually some some of the things the investigator raised were pointed out upthread, like the fact cops left the car, and Boushie's body, out in the rain, which resulted in evidence being destroyed. I mentioned it up at 128.

It was flagged here. No one seemed to want to talk about it though.

Now there is a call from Ontario for a national inquiry into Boushie's death.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/ontario-inigenous-justi...

Rev Pesky

A little paragraph down the bottom of the CBC story:

The experts CBC consulted agreed that errors were made, but did not conclude it would have changed the outcome of the trial.

After all, Gerald Stanley was charged with murder. It was the jury that acquitted him, and I doubt there was much that would have changed that.

Aristotleded24

Rev Pesky wrote:
I can't remember the name, perhaps others can help out. Some years ago in Northern Alberta a anti-oil farmer had some kids drive onto his property and raise hell. I believe he shot and killed, or seriously wounded, one of them. Again, I can't remember the outcome of that event. I do remember it happened, and it was in many ways very similar to the Gerald Stanley event.

Oh, I just remembered!! It was Wiebo Ludwig, and in the specific event a teenage girl was killed. The story is here:

Wiebo Ludwig

A teenage girl, Karman Willis, was killed in Trickle Creek in an incident that occurred in 1999 when a pickup truck full of adolescents trespassed on the Trickle Creek farm. Some residents of the farm, who were camping in the path of the truck, feared for their safety, and an unidentified person shot at the truck. Ludwig called 911, explaining to the operator that shots had been fired. The subsequent police investigation suggested that the bullet hit the bottom of the truck, then ricocheted up and hit Willis in the chest. A bullet also hit a second teen in the arm, but he survived. Police were never able to identify the shooter, and were not able to recover the weapon. No one was ever charged with the death, and local residents still refer to the exact nature of events that happened on the night of the shooting as "a mystery".

I remember hearing about this case when it happened. Near universal condemnation of Ludwig by his neighbours, and that this poor girl shouldn't have had to die.

Believe me, white kids doing this kind of thing is viewed differently. Or don't believe me. Instead, believe our other Prairie commentators who have weighed in here.

Aristotleded24

6079_Smith_W wrote:
In the opinion of an independent expert the RCMP were negligent:

">http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/rcmp-sloppy-and-negligent-in-...

Lots of great detail about the steps that were not followed, but what stood out for me was this:

Quote:
"If I had been the commissioner of the RCMP," said Murphy, "and I knew this was going to be an important case for race relations, my immediate response would have been, 'I want everything done on this case that can be done.'"

Notwithstanding the actual process of investigating this case, apparently the RCMP didn't even understand the important PR aspect. Then the RCMP wonders why it has problems in First Nations communities.

Reminds me of the shoddy investigation done in the initial stage of the Hellen Betty Osborne investigation.

6079_Smith_W

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Quote:
"If I had been the commissioner of the RCMP," said Murphy, "and I knew this was going to be an important case for race relations, my immediate response would have been, 'I want everything done on this case that can be done.'"

Yup, you'd think.

Thing is, the assumption is that it is a broken system, when in fact a lot of the people involved in it are still operating on the program that that is exactly how it is designed to work.

Driving people out of town to die isn't a screwup.

Hearing the account of what the cops did in his mother's home - eight cop cars, accusing her of being drunk, when they asked her where Colten was that day and she said she had food in the microwave waiting for him they actually opened the microwave to look - it sure seems like a little bit more than just a screwup.

 

Rev Pesky

From Aristotle24:

Believe me, white kids doing this kind of thing is viewed differently. Or don't believe me. Instead, believe our other Prairie commentators who have weighed in here.

Well, it certainly was different. No one was charged with the murder. No jury, 'settler' or otherwise, got to review the evidence and pronounce on the case.

6079_Smith_W

Sure. But everyone recognized that she was the victim. Not one of a gang of troublemakers who invaded his property, should have known better and got what they had coming to them.

I doubt that 67 percent of the province thought the outcome of that case was fair, as Saskatchewan residents thought in the Stanley case.

 

Rev Pesky

As posted above:

If I had been the commissioner of the RCMP," said Murphy, "and I knew this was going to be an important case for race relations, my immediate response would have been, 'I want everything done on this case that can be done.

This kind of stood out for me too. Is this guy really saying that the level of investigation should depend on political considerations? That is absolutely ridiculous. Every investigation should be a professional investigation. It is imperative that political considerations don't count. Otherwise you really will end up with a system that favours some and denies others, based on their ability to crowdfund.

I agree there should have been a more professional investigation in this case. At the same time, I agree with the above quoted 'experts' who say that it would not have changed the verdict.

There was no dispute at the trial about who shot whom, or about which weapon was used. The one single piece of evidence that might have made a difference is the distance between the shooter and the victim at the time the shot was fired. The testimony was that Stanley was standing close enough to the vehicle to reach in and grab the keys. If examination of the wound showed the bullet was fired from some distance, that key piece of testimony would have failed. Yet no one disputed the testimony.

Jurors are not allowed to speak of their verdict after the fact, which I think is a good thing, but given the circumstances of the killing, I suspect the jurors felt they couldn't convict someone for protecting their family home from marauding drunks.

So I do not believe the jury's decision had anything to do with the finer points of evidence, which may or may not have been collected in the investigation. 

Rev Pesky

From 6079_Smith_W:

Sure. But everyone recognized that she was the victim. Not one of a gang of troublemakers who invaded his property, should have known better and got what they had coming to them.

In fact, as I remember it, that was exactly what many people thought (that the victim(s) were to blame). But again, the crucial difference was that no one was charged with a crime. 

Aristotleded24

Rev Pesky wrote:
As posted above:

If I had been the commissioner of the RCMP," said Murphy, "and I knew this was going to be an important case for race relations, my immediate response would have been, 'I want everything done on this case that can be done.

This kind of stood out for me too. Is this guy really saying that the level of investigation should depend on political considerations? That is absolutely ridiculous. Every investigation should be a professional investigation. It is imperative that political considerations don't count. Otherwise you really will end up with a system that favours some and denies others, based on their ability to crowdfund.

I agree there should have been a more professional investigation in this case. At the same time, I agree with the above quoted 'experts' who say that it would not have changed the verdict.

There was no dispute at the trial about who shot whom, or about which weapon was used. The one single piece of evidence that might have made a difference is the distance between the shooter and the victim at the time the shot was fired. The testimony was that Stanley was standing close enough to the vehicle to reach in and grab the keys. If examination of the wound showed the bullet was fired from some distance, that key piece of testimony would have failed. Yet no one disputed the testimony.

Jurors are not allowed to speak of their verdict after the fact, which I think is a good thing, but given the circumstances of the killing, I suspect the jurors felt they couldn't convict someone for protecting their family home from marauding drunks.

So I do not believe the jury's decision had anything to do with the finer points of evidence, which may or may not have been collected in the investigation.

Of course putting aside the questions of the evidence the white jury would let off one of their own for shooting at a bunch of drunk Natives. That's the mentality people have towards Natives in this part of the country.

You know that First Nations people are deeply suspicious and mistrustful of police in this part of the country? Do you think that makes the job of the police easier or harder? This case was the perfect opportunity for the RCMP to show that they would take seriously crimes committed against First Nations people, and by having an unprofessional investigation they blew it big time. Do you think First Nations people are going to have any confidence in the police after this?

Do you remember Wiebo Ludwig, who was brought up in this thread? He faced a similar situation with joyriding teenagers, only in this case they were white. I recall that the RCMP, unlike in this case, were on the scene of Ludwig's property doing what they could to gather enough evidence, however in this case they didn't find anyone. Also remember that unlike in Stanley's case, nobody came to Ludwig's defense. Let's say that someone had been charged with that shooting. What chances do you think that person would have had of being acquitted?

Maybe when crimes happen in rural areas evidence is generally not collected in as vigourous a fashion as it is in the big cities. But in this one particular case, where the victim was First Nations and the shooter white, the evidence was not collected appropriately. Do you really think that is a coincidence?

6079_Smith_W

The RCMP have also said that the inclusion of women in their ranks is a priority, and you can see how that has worked out so far. So I agree with you (and the Boushie family lawyer) that if there was any case in which they'd be on it, this would be the one. But I am not surprised that did not happen.

 

Pondering

Rev Pesky wrote:

A little paragraph down the bottom of the CBC story:

The experts CBC consulted agreed that errors were made, but did not conclude it would have changed the outcome of the trial.

After all, Gerald Stanley was charged with murder. It was the jury that acquitted him, and I doubt there was much that would have changed that.

So, they did not conclude it would have changed the outcome of the trial.  

Did they conclude it would not have changed the outcome?

That is the conclusion that matters. It can't be made without knowing what the evidence would have uncovered. 

Where the gun was relative to Colton's head was not in question. Where was the gun  relative to the car?  Was it in a position that supports Gerald's contention that he was reaching to turn off the engine? Was the door open or closed when the shot was fired. 

It could have proven Gerald's account more or less likely to be true. 

The outcome of the trial is not just whether or not Gerald was convicted. It's also whether or not the public is satisfied that the justice system did its job regardless of verdict. 

The trial did not prove Gerald's innocence. He was acquitted because there wasn't enough evidence to find him guilty. I'm sure Gerald would have preferred to be proven innocent not just "not convicted".  

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Rev Pesky wrote:
I can't remember the name, perhaps others can help out. Some years ago in Northern Alberta a anti-oil farmer had some kids drive onto his property and raise hell. I believe he shot and killed, or seriously wounded, one of them. Again, I can't remember the outcome of that event. I do remember it happened, and it was in many ways very similar to the Gerald Stanley event.

Oh, I just remembered!! It was Wiebo Ludwig, and in the specific event a teenage girl was killed. The story is here:

Wiebo Ludwig

A teenage girl, Karman Willis, was killed in Trickle Creek in an incident that occurred in 1999 when a pickup truck full of adolescents trespassed on the Trickle Creek farm. Some residents of the farm, who were camping in the path of the truck, feared for their safety, and an unidentified person shot at the truck. Ludwig called 911, explaining to the operator that shots had been fired. The subsequent police investigation suggested that the bullet hit the bottom of the truck, then ricocheted up and hit Willis in the chest. A bullet also hit a second teen in the arm, but he survived. Police were never able to identify the shooter, and were not able to recover the weapon. No one was ever charged with the death, and local residents still refer to the exact nature of events that happened on the night of the shooting as "a mystery".

I remember hearing about this case when it happened. Near universal condemnation of Ludwig by his neighbours, and that this poor girl shouldn't have had to die.

Believe me, white kids doing this kind of thing is viewed differently. Or don't believe me. Instead, believe our other Prairie commentators who have weighed in here.

Or

Gerald was charged for shooting an FN man - Ludwig was not charged for shooting a white teenage girl

If Gerald were charged for shooting a white man, and Ludwig wasn't charged for shooting an FN teenage girl, I think people would be shouting racism even louder. 

Instead, no charges were laid for shooting a white teenage girl, and charges were laid for shooting an FN man. 

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:
 Maybe when crimes happen in rural areas evidence is generally not collected in as vigourous a fashion as it is in the big cities. But in this one particular case, where the victim was First Nations and the shooter white, the evidence was not collected appropriately. Do you really think that is a coincidence?

Police are no better in cities. They shoot people armed with knives and screwdrivers. A hospital worker was accidently shot on the way to work because police were shooting at a man who had been kicking garbage all over the place. 

White people living in trailer parks with open sewage also get treated like trash. 

It's about money and power, you get treated way better when you have it. The racism comes into play when people assume POCs have neither. Dressing poorly will result in the same poor treatment. Anyone who is perceived to lack money and power is vulnerable. 

6079_Smith_W

You know, the fact no one came forward as a witness in the Ludwig case, and that some white people are also not treated well does not mean that systemic racism does not exist, any more than men feeling sorry for themselves does not mean that sexism doesn't exist.

It is actually kind of significant that as far as the Stanley case got, despite shoddy evidence gathering, he was still found not-guilty. It is not the same as not having any evidence to lay a charge.

And if I may offer an opinion, I can't imagine what evidence would have been enough to change that verdict. So I expect he just meant there was no way to tell.

And no. It isn't just about how people dress or look. You can have a good job and drive a nice car like Philando Castile, and still be shot dead.  That's why this is about racism, not fashion crime.

 

 

 

Mobo2000

Its not either/or.  It's not racism or classism, they work together.

Smith:   ""You know, the fact no one came forward as a witness in the Ludwig case, and that some white people are also not treated well does not mean that systemic racism does not exist, any more than men feeling sorry for themselves does not mean that sexism doesn't exist."   

I think the best hope for reconciliation requires that the issues of the "oppressors" are considered as well.   

Pondering

Rev Pesky wrote:
  This kind of stood out for me too. Is this guy really saying that the level of investigation should depend on political considerations? That is absolutely ridiculous. Every investigation should be a professional investigation. It is imperative that political considerations don't count. Otherwise you really will end up with a system that favours some and denies others, based on their ability to crowdfund. 

What he is saying is that there is a normal standard of investigation that does not go "beyond the call of duty". The basics get done. Resources are limited. There was a case here in Montreal in which a woman arrived at her house and realized an intruder had been there so she called police and waited outside. It took the police close to an hour to show up if I am remembering correctly, maybe longer. Her family arrived before police did because at that point it was just a property crime. 

Police services are being rationed like medical services. Incidences most likely to make the papers are the ones that get the resources. That would be cases involving rich people, or sensational, like a downtown shoot out, or that involve a hot topic, like racism or serial killers. 

Unless you are above middle class or an adorable child the police will not investigate your disappearance.

Rev Pesky wrote:
 I agree there should have been a more professional investigation in this case. At the same time, I agree with the above quoted 'experts' who say that it would not have changed the verdict.  

That isn't what they said. They couldn't conclude that it would have changed the verdict. No one could, expert or otherwise, without seeing the evidence. How people word things is important. Especially experts. Reporters ask leading questions. 

  • Can you conclude that the evidence would have changed the verdict?
  • Can you conclude that the evidence would not have changed the verdict?

Answering the first question results in: No, I cannot conclude that the evidence would have changed the verdict. 

Answering the second question results in: No, I cannot conclude that the evidence would not have changed the verdict. 

Both are true, especially with a jury trial. If I were a jury member, and part of testimony was the botched investigation that washed away most of the evidence I would be loath to convict based on what I thought the person was thinking as events occured and with experts unable to explain the bulge in a bullet and the possibility of hangfire. 

The benefit of the doubt always goes to the accused. 

6079_Smith_W

Mobo2000 wrote:

I think the best hope for reconciliation requires that the issues of the "oppressors" are considered as well.   

You think farmers complaining about being the victims here haven't been getting airplay? Maybe you should listen a bit closer. Ralph Goodale showed up two days after the trial to pledge support to them.

And it is funny how "reconciliation" is starting to turn into a white word. It was pointed out at the rally here in Saskatoon that they didn't want to hear "The R Word", because there is no reconciliation. And the Indigenous student council at the U of S has also had enough of it:

The Indigenous Students' Council said it is "tired of being taken advantage of" and will no longer "toe the line" of reconciliation on campus at the University of Saskatchewan. 

http://thestarphoenix.com/news/local-news/indigenous-students-council-ur...

Can you blame them? Sorry. Rhetorical question. Of course people are blaming them.

 

Paladin1

Pondering wrote:

Police are no better in cities. They shoot people armed with knives and screwdrivers.

Not shooting someone with a knife or screw driver is an excellent way to get stabbed to death very quickly. I can show you some videos of just how dangerous someone with a knife can be to cops if you'd like (just didn't want to spam the thread).

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:
You know, the fact no one came forward as a witness in the Ludwig case, and that some white people are also not treated well does not mean that systemic racism does not exist, any more than men feeling sorry for themselves does not mean that sexism doesn't exist.  

Correct. My sister and I both worked in male-dominated tech. When we didn't get a particular job it may have been sexism or it may have been the man was better qualified. Sexism absolutely did impact our careers but I can't say that every job I didn't get was due to sexism. 

Saying racism cannot be proven in a particular case is not the same as saying systemic racism doesn't exist. 

6079_Smith_W wrote:
It is actually kind of significant that as far as the Stanley case got, despite shoddy evidence gathering, he was still found not-guilty. It is not the same as not having any evidence to lay a charge.  

It is more likely he was not found guilty because the evidence gathering was shoddy. There was no physical evidence disproving Gerald's account of what happened. 

6079_Smith_W wrote:
 And if I may offer an opinion, I can't imagine what evidence would have been enough to change that verdict. So I expect he just meant there was no way to tell. 

Blood splatter and gunshot residue are evidenciary. It could have told us the position of the gun and Colton's head and how likely that position was as Gerald reached for the ignition. 

I have several times read "imagine the position, how awkward it would be reaching in with your left hand to turn off the ignition". Yes, exactly. That is both an argument for the fact that it couldn't have happened that way and an argument for it happened because it is so awkward. 

6079_Smith_W wrote:
 And no. It isn't just about how people dress or look. You can have a good job and drive a nice car like Philando Castile, and still be shot dead.  That's why this is about racism, not fashion crime.  

No it isn't -just- about how people dress or look but it is a factor. If something terrible happens to a white person is it okay because they are white so it isn't racism? You claim that Gerald shot Colton because Colton is FN and that the jury didn't convict him because Colton is FN. While systemic (and individual) racism absolutely exists ascribing it to a single incident.

Being white did not stop the teenage girl from being shot. If she had been FN it would be held up as another incident racism and that accusation would have been wrong. 

Hurtin Albertan

OK, about the only thing that the Willis killing and the Boushie killing have in common is that someone was shot on a farm.

I worked in Grande Prairie in the late 90's, I even flew some circles over the Ludwig's place at Trickle Creek once in 1999 and was wondering why all the people came out to the yard to look at the helicopter.

The Ludwigs and their friends and relatives had a small community at Trickle Creek, it wasn't just a husband and wife and son living in a farmhouse with a barn out back.  The Ludwigs had long been suspected of oilpatch vandalism and domestic terrorism with the bombings and sabotage, a lot of it never made the news but I knew about it from co-workers who were involved.

I'm pretty sure the RCMP viewed the Ludwigs as a heavily armed doomsday cult holed up in a fortified compound.  With the reputation the Ludwig group had, I don't know why anyone would think it was a good idea to trespass onto their property at night and do donuts in their yard.  I do not believe what the kids from Beaverlodge did that night was worth them getting shot at over, let alone someone losing their life over it.

So Ludwig called the RCMP, reported that "someone" had fired some shots at a trespassing vehicle that was being driven in a threatening manner, or whatever he said.  There was ZERO chance the RCMP from Beaverlodge were going to drive out to a shots fired call at night to a cult compound full of domestic terrorists (not my opinion of the Ludwigs but I'm pretty sure that's how a lot of people saw the, inluding the RCMP).  No one from the truck or Trickle Creek ever talked to each other or had any sort of confrontation.  Truck drove in, someone shot at or near the truck, truck drove off, Ludwig reported as much to the RCMP.

The Ludwigs basically had all night to destroy or dispose of any evidence, and to all agree on the story that they would tell the police.  The RCMP found a lot of weapons when they searched the Ludwig place but none of them could be linked to the shooting, likely because the weapon in question was at the bottom of a beaver pond or muskeg.  Either no one saw anything, or all they saw was the truck, no one saw anyone shooting and no one admitted to anything.

In the Boushie killing, it occurred during daylight on a farm where a single family lived who had no police history as oilpatch bombers and who weren't viewed as a cult as far as I know.  There was a confrontation outside the vehicle.  Witnesses from both sides were willing to testify, the gun was found, there wasn't much question about probably 97% or 98% of what happened that day.

As someone who has investigation training in scene preservation, evidence collection and witness statements, the RCMP investigation was a real soup sandwich.  I do not think that it made a fundamental difference to the case but it should have been done more professionally.

It's real easy to take lots of pictures if you can't preserve the scene.  You can never take too many pictures (unless you take it to a very ridiculous extreme). 

It gives the appearance that the RCMP had already reached a conclusion before the investigation even began, I understand how this happens but it is pretty unprofessional.

6079_Smith_W

Thanks for the sensible, informed and enlightening post, Hurtin Albertan. Given that all tragedies like this are individual, there are a lot of things that set these two apart.

 

Bacchus
Rev Pesky

From Pondering:

The trial did not prove Gerald's innocence. He was acquitted because there wasn't enough evidence to find him guilty. I'm sure Gerald would have preferred to be proven innocent not just "not convicted".  

One of the interesting parts of our legal system is the presumption of innocence. One who has gone to trial, and has been acquitted of the charge they faced cannot be less innocent than they were before the trial.

Also from Pondering:

It's about money and power, you get treated way better when you have it.

You mean the way the police treated the deaths of the Shermans.

Rev Pesky

Speaking of police not doing their job, nobody so far has mentioned this (courtesy Wikipedia):

In 1998 the RCMP charged Ludwig for an attack on a Suncor well that occurred days after one of Ludwig's grandchildren was delivered stillborn.

At a January 1999 bail hearing, the lawyer for Ludwig and another defendant revealed that RCMP officers had bombed an oil installation as part of a dirty tricks campaign during their investigation of acts against oil industry installations. The information was confirmed by crown prosecutors.

So I guess he had a reason to distrust the RCMP as well.

As far as the evidence in the Boushie killing, there is no evidence that could have changed that verdict. The verdict depended completely on Gerald Stanley saying the gun did not fire immediately after he pulled the trigger. There is no investigation that could have confirmed or denied that bit of testimony.

They jury accepted that testimony to be true, and acquitted on that basis. It was clear by other testimony in court that the 'hangfire' was very unlikely to happen. The jury still accepted that version of events.

You could fire that pistol 1,000,000 times without that hangfire happening again, but you could never fire that pistol again with the bullet that killed Boushie. The jury chose to believe the pistol went off some time after the trigger was pulled, and acquitted Stanley. 

That is also why they didn't return a verdict of manslaughter. Given that testimony, it was either murder, or acquittal. The jury chose acquittal.

Pondering
  • Boushie's body was covered, but he lay face-down in the gravel in the Stanley farm yard for more than 24 hours while RCMP waited for a warrant, according to RCMP testimony during the trial.
  • The RCMP blood spatter expert did not come to Saskatchewan to examine the vehicle or other items. This decision was mentioned several times by Stanley's defence team during the trial. On Monday, the RCMP said they can't comment on the crime scene or blood spatter evidence during the 30-day period after the verdict during which an appeal is possible.
  • http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/colten-boushie-family-list-probl...

I am horrified Boushie's body was on the ground for 24 hours. Surely there is a judge that can be called for time-sensitive warrants.  Do the police not have procedures to follow at the scene of a fatal shooting?

As I thought the defence used the point that the evidence was washed away, evidence that could have provided more information on what happened that day. 

As a juror I would question being expected to reach a guilty verdict when evidence that could have provided clarity was left to be destroyed, and that the body wasn't brought to a coronor for a full 24 hours. All the witnesses for the Crown gave conflicting testimony. Firearms experts had conflicting opinions. 

I am not claiming that racism didn't play some part in the events that occurred. I'm saying it's very difficult to prove. Were police racist or are they just that incompetent and uncaring? 

This was not an open and shut case much as you want to frame it that way. There was evidence destroyed, conflicting accounts, conflicting experts and an inexplicable bluge in the casing. Neither expert could explain it. That's huge. Neither said it was common, neither even gave a couple of scenarios that could have caused it. As a juror I would be thinking that it is not a coincidence that only the bullet that killed Colton had a bulge and they were unable to recreate the same effect and had no idea what caused it. A hangfire could not be absolutely ruled out even though they usually occur within a second. Something caused the bulge. If the experts couldn't absolutely rule out a hangfire then how could I as a juror rule it out absolutely? 

Rev Pesky

From Bacchus:

No appeal.

Appealing jury decisions is mostly a waste of time. A jury does not have to follow the law in their decision. I know that sounds a bit silly, but think back to the trials of Henry Morgentaler. In at least one of his trials the judge told the jury they had to return a verdict of guilty, but they didn't. 

Courtesy Wikipedia:

In 1975, under Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, the Canadian Parliament changed the law so that an appeals court could not overturn a jury acquittal, although they could order a new trial. This is known as the Morgentaler Amendment to the Criminal Code.

In order to get a new trial for Stanley, there would have to be some glaring error by the judge. Not liking the jury's decision is not enough. And, of course, there's no certainty that another jury would return a different verdict.

Chances of having Stanley's trial result thrown out, and a new trial ordered would be very close to zero.

6079_Smith_W

The Boushie family's lawyer sent a letter with numerous possible grounds for appeal to the justice minister. Some of those arguments were relayed to him by lawyers and academics from across Canada.

Clearly that was disregarded. One thing is for sure. You don't affect the outcome of a trial if you don't even try.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/stanley-boushie-appeal-1.4565538

Bacchus

Possible is not probable. It may have just been grasping at straws

Paladin1

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And he could no more have thought the gun was not loaded than someone could look at an open door and think it was shut. Articles about this have been posted already with pictures.

I disagree.

I've witnessed probably 20-25 people fire a gun by accident when they thought it was unloaded.

I've also seen guns fired when someone put it away in a holster, when someone put it on their back and the trigger got caught on something, the trigger getting caught on a stick.  Lots of stuff, but not realizing a gun is loaded is probably the most common cause of firearm accidents.

 

Personally I think he shot him in the head by accident either by hitting the trigger accidentally or because he was pumped full of adrenaline and lost fine motor control of his hands and fingers. Or both.

If Colton was sitting in the driver seat looking forward and Gerald had the gun in his right hand I can picture Gerald leaning in the window, his right arm\hand behind Colton and awkwardly reaching for the keys with his left hand. While trying to reach awkwardly left handed for the keys he inadvertantly pulled the trigger with his right hand and the gun pointing towards his head.  Someone not well disciplined with firearms might keep their finger on the trigger. 

In situtations like that your hands feel like big clubs and you lose a lot of dextarity.

The hangfire stuff is weird but that too could explain the gun going off behind colton.

6079_Smith_W

You should know this Paladin, in fact I am sure you are fully aware of this, since you have read the articles. Here's a video showing what that kind of pistol looks like when it is empty.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15ZibExXg1s 

So yes. It is the same as claiming a closed door is open.

And yes, the video is of a gun that has a problem of closing when it was empty with the magazine removed. Neither expert said there was anything like this faulty with the weapon. And in any case, Stanley's gun had a bullet in it.

And sorry to sound like a broken record, but all "the hangfire stuff" explains is that Stanley pulled the trigger while pointing at the back of Boushie's head.

 

Paladin1

You're right I do know that. I've said the exact same thing in this thread. Couple times. Slides on guns don't always remain to the rear when a gun is empty because sometimes the parts intended to hold them back are broken or worn down just enough to not catch. The video you posted is a clear example of the parts being worn down. It sometimes catches but a little movement makes the slide release.

I'm sorry but I'm not sure what you're trying to say?

In my opinion for a case to have a bulge in the side of it there has to be room for the case to expand. There is no room in a barrel for the case to expand unless the barrel bulges as well, which happens, but I don't recall reading about it.

If the case bulged when the bullet was outside of the barrel I would wonder why the pistol didn't explode in Geralds hand and how the bullet had enough pressure to be fatal. A bullet needs to be surrounded by the barrel and locked in place to have enough pressure to shoot out of the gun and cause death. If you held a bullet in your hand and some how hit the back of it causing it to fire it wouldn't have enough pressure to go through a piece of paper.

6079_Smith_W

I am saying it is obvious when the gun is open and empty.

Neither expert found anything faulty with Stanley's gun that could cause this, and in any case, his gun was loaded, and had the slide closed. There is no way if he had his eyes open and his hand on the gun that he would not have known it was loaded.

Clear enough?

And sure, whatever happened to that casing it didn't change how the gun fired.

 

6079_Smith_W

David Tanovich, a law professor at the University of Windsor who followed the case closely, said he believes there are strong grounds for an appeal and he's disappointed the case will not be put before the appeal court. "The failure of the Crown to appeal and give the Court of Appeal a chance to review the case not only deprives the family and community of an opportunity for a second look at the process, but further serves to reinforce the view amongst some lawyers and others that this was a fair and unbiased process," Prof. Tanovich said in an e-mail.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/crown-says-it-wont-appeal-...

milo204

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/winnipeg-police-shooting-home-inv...

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/romeo-ryle-sentencing-murder-just...

here's a couple examples of break in's gone wrong, for all those saying these incidents are "no big deal" and nothing to be scared of.  This is why people reach for weapons and are willing to be aggressive in confronting an intruder, and why for me, the homeowners reaction has to be overtly beyond defense before i'd support seeing them jailed for murder or manslaughter.  innocent people should not be expected to take that risk.

 

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I am saying it is obvious when the gun is open and empty.

Neither expert found anything faulty with Stanley's gun that could cause this, and in any case, his gun was loaded, and had the slide closed. There is no way if he had his eyes open and his hand on the gun that he would not have known it was loaded.

Clear enough?

And sure, whatever happened to that casing it didn't change how the gun fired.

It's clear enough that you are misrepresenting Gerald's testimony to suit what you believe. He didn't claim the gun was empty as in ejecting the magazine. If he had ejected the magazine of course it couldn't have fired. 

What he said was that he fired into the air a couple of extra times to make sure there were no bullets left in the magazine. That is not at all the same thing as ejecting it. 

As illustrated by your youtube the magazine does not automatically eject when it is empty. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
A Manitoba judge called the murder of Justin Chezick "unspeakably brutal" as he sentenced the man convicted of stabbing Chezick 38 times and then lighting his body on fire during a botched 2015 burglary.

Plot twist:  the homeowner actually asked the burglar "are you just after my silverware, and will you promise not to stab me 38 times and incinerate my corpse" and the darn burglar said "just the silverware; it's only property."

Mark it on your calendar.  The first time a criminal lied.

 

Rev Pesky

David Tanovich, as posted above. 

The failure of the Crown to appeal...etc. 

It would have been interesting to hear from Tanovich what he thought the grounds for appeal were. Unfortunately, either he, or the reporter, didn't mention them.

Boushie's lawyer complained about testimony from 'lay' persons as to weaponry, but I very much doubt an appeal court would overturn the trial for that. In fact, the Crown had plenty of oppportunity to instruct the jury as to the value of that evidence.

​What it comes down to is this. Stanley's defence was that the pistol fired some time after he had pulled the trigger. The jury chose to believe that.

All the parsing of the ins and outs of firing a pistol, sloppy investigation, specfic timeline, intent of the intruders is meaningless. What people appear to want is for the jury not to believe Stanley's defence. But they did, and there is no appeal of a jury's decision. 

Paladin1

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I am saying it is obvious when the gun is open and empty.

Neither expert found anything faulty with Stanley's gun that could cause this, and in any case, his gun was loaded, and had the slide closed. There is no way if he had his eyes open and his hand on the gun that he would not have known it was loaded.

Clear enough?

And sure, whatever happened to that casing it didn't change how the gun fired.

 

Smith the video you posted shows that slides do not always stay to the rear when a magazine is empty.  Excuse the pun but with old surplus guns like that T33 it's hit and miss. Sometimes the slide will slam forward even when the gun is empty giving the perception it is still loaded.

You say theres no way he would not have known it was loaded. I'm not sure how I can explain this to you any differently. When someone is stressed out, scared, frightened, super angry, they start thinking with a different area of their brain and they lose fine motor skills. Their vision narrows and it looks like they're looking at the world through a paper towel roll.  Short term memory is also affected because someone is experiencing fight or flight. Body shuts down stuff it doesn't need, like memory. It's very very plausable that Gerald in that situation had no idea if the gun was loaded or not. I've personally seen people try to shoot thinking their gun is loaded but it's empty, with the slide sometimes being locked forward and sometimes locked back. Other people think the gun is empty and they're surprised went it goes off.

 

Am I wrong to say that you think Gerald shot him in the head on purpose?

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