First ever jury trial for "assisted suicide" ends in acquittal
Wonderful news - history is made - and Canada moves a step closer to a compassionate society:
A Quebec man charged with helping his ailing uncle hang himself two years ago has been found not guilty of assisted suicide.
A jury acquitted Stéphan Dufour, 30, on a single charge of assisted suicide Friday morning, after three days of deliberation in the landmark case.
Dufour is the first Canadian to ever stand trial by jury for assisted suicide.
He was accused of assisting his uncle, Chantal Maltais, kill himself in his Alma home in September 2006.
Dufour admitted to installing rope, chain and a dog collar in a closet, which Maltais later used to kill himself. ...
Dufour was tearful while recalling while on stand how his uncle often begged him to help him die.
"He asked me every day to help him commit suicide," Dufour told the court.
"I didn't want to do it, but I wasn't able to take it anymore. I felt like I was in prison."
Dufour's mother, aunts and cousins broke into tears and shouted out as the jury read out its verdict in Alma's courthouse Friday morning.
Stéphan Dufour's cousin, Yannick Dufour, said he was relieved, but called on the government to review assisted suicide.
"The government needs to get its act together," he said in French. "Life doesn't belong to anyone but ourselves."
"We don't let animals suffer," Nicole Maltais added. "Why do we let people suffer?"