Justice minister to examine jury selection after Saskatchewan verdict - APTN NewsAPTN News

Justice minister to examine jury selection after Saskatchewan verdict



APTN News
The Liberal government is planning a “broad-based review” of the criminal justice system after an all-white jury delivered a not-guilty verdict in the shooting death of Colten Boushie.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said the review will include peremptory challenges, which allow Crown and defence lawyers to reject potential jurors without stating a reason.

The jury acquitted Gerald Stanley – a white Saskatchewan farmer – in the death of the 22-year-old Cree youth on Friday. Critics say the defense team used its set of peremptory challenges to strike out Indigenous people from the jury pool.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Indigenous people are “significantly underrepresented” in jury pools, but overrepresented in prisons.

“We have a problem. We have much we need to do together to fix the system in the spirit of reconciliation,” he said during question period in the House of Commons on Monday. “That’s exactly what we’re going to be doing.”

NDP MP Charlie Angus called on the Liberals to cut the platitudes and fix the “huge legal inequity” that Indigenous peoples face.

“When the justice system fails an individual, there’s appeals, there’s legal precedence,” he said. “But when justice fails a people, it is incumbent upon leaders to take a stand because, let’s be clear, this system didn’t just fail Colten Boushie. This system has failed Indigenous people all the way back to Poundmaker and it has to stop.”

Angus was referring to Chief Poundmaker who was convicted of treason following the North-West Rebellion in 1885. He died just over a year later despite professing his innocence.

Wilson-Raybould and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale are scheduled to meet with the Boushie family and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations on Tuesday.

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33 Responses to “Justice minister to examine jury selection after Saskatchewan verdict”

  1. valhenry@tbaytel.net'
    chezhank February 12, 2018 at 10:57 pm #

    “As of the 2016 census, Aboriginal peoples in Canada totaled 1,673,785 people, or 4.9% of the national population.”
    For a jury of twelve +2 how many should be native?………One?
    Now let us read about the jury selection, from the Globe and Mail
    “More than 700 people from across the massive Battlefords district were issued summons to appear as part of the jury panel.
    Approximately 200 showed up in person on Monday morning.
    When Chief Justice Martel Popescul asked whether anyone needed to be excused as potential jurors, a long line quickly formed.
    About 70 people, roughly a third of those present, pleaded to be let go,
    Nearly 50,
    including about a “dozen people who appeared Indigenous ”, were excused.”
    Those “dozen people who appeared Indigenous ” were 4.9% of the 200 and more that showed up Monday for jury duty but asked to be excused.

    Who is to blame for not being represented on the jury?

    • raq.lambert@gmail.com'
      Raquel Lambert February 13, 2018 at 2:00 am #

      The lawyer representing the family has stated that when people who waned to be in the jury and who were of Aboriginal Status kept being challenged from Stanley’s Lawyer, so no Aboriginal people made it to the jury. I have proof of what the Lawyer said in a video if you need further proof.

      • valhenry@tbaytel.net'
        chezhank February 13, 2018 at 4:42 pm #

        Yes the defence as the prosecution had 14 peremptory challenges.
        After 14 they would have to give reason why they are not selected.
        Some of the those that left may have had a chance.

    • Janicedaniels2556@gmail.com'
      Jdaniels February 13, 2018 at 4:51 am #

      Not the % that matters. The jury was selected in Sask -16%.
      In The Battleford -22% ( pretty much 1/5.
      From an area encompassing many reserves-so add that in.
      It wasn’t a jury from across Canada.

      • valhenry@tbaytel.net'
        chezhank February 13, 2018 at 4:44 pm #

        All the more reason for the dozen that left to have stayed.

    • Sonal@champsee.com'
      Sonal February 13, 2018 at 5:45 am #

      Well the first flaw in your argument is that the jury pool isn’t pulled from all of Canada. The Indigenous population of Saskatchewan is 16% (and possibly higher in the Battleford area) and so if everything were proportionate there would be at least 2 Indigenous jurors and at least 32 in the pool of 200 who showed up.

      So, if of the nearly 50 people who pleaded to be let go and went home, about a dozen were possibly indigenous, that’s pretty close to proportional.

      So no, it’s not the fault of Indigenous people that they were not selected to serve on the jury.

      • valhenry@tbaytel.net'
        chezhank February 13, 2018 at 4:53 pm #

        Yes I admit that I am wrong and should have used the % of the Aboriginal population of the Battlefords .
        All the more reason for the 12 that left to have stayed and represent their people.
        The defence only had 14 peremptory challenges to use.
        I would like to know how many of the 700 individuals issued summons to appear were Aboriginal.

        • Knudsen16@shaw.ca'
          Forward Thinker February 18, 2018 at 2:12 am #

          The selection is a random process so it was likely close to the proportion of the area. As I understand it the list from which they draw is based on the voters list.

          • valhenry@tbaytel.net'
            chezhank February 18, 2018 at 11:06 pm #

            Thank you for that!
            They should fine the 500 who did not show up, as they are able to do……up to $1000.00 apiece.

    • silicaceous@yahoo.com'
      John February 13, 2018 at 11:43 am #

      In Saskatchwan the indigenous component is more like 40%, not 5%.

      • zynpyx500@gmail.com'
        Zyn February 14, 2018 at 5:47 pm #

        It’s actually just above 10% in Saskatchewan.

    • Rbgough@sasktel.net'
      Rhonda February 19, 2018 at 4:12 pm #

      Most of those indigenous people who excused themselves, statistically among the lowest income, had no car to get around, no extra money to pay for childcare while on jury duty, no employee plan at work that paid them while on jury duty, and potentially not enough appropriate clothing for attending court for the required time. All barriers to jury duty.

  2. jrturcotte@hotmail.com'
    Julie February 12, 2018 at 11:01 pm #

    I don’t know whether or not Hersld Stanley is guilty of murder. I’m conflicted on this. On the one hand, colton Bouchie and his friends allegedly tried to steal vehicles. On the other, I have been married to an aboriginal man for 27 years, amd I know how deep racism goes in the prairie provinces. That being said, in this country we have the right to be tried by a jury of our peers. The defense team saw to it that no aboriginal people would sit on that jury. On this basis, I think that the ruling should be thrown out and the case retried.

    • jim13135@gmail.com'
      James Pavich February 13, 2018 at 12:50 am #

      Mr Stanley was on trial, not Colton Bouchie….Mr Stanley was tried by a jury of his peers. Think about it.

      I’ve also sat on a jury and nobody ever asked if I was aboriginal or not, some people forget that not all aboriginal people are dark skinned with brown eyes.

      • rrincon3000@hotmail.com'
        Raul February 13, 2018 at 4:03 am #

        Mr. Stanley administered Capital Punishment to Mr. Bouchie without due process, in a land where Capital Punishment is not allowed and in a land where shooting another human is illegal. Think about it.

    • Pmachwk@hotmail.com'
      Patricia February 13, 2018 at 1:04 am #

      Even if they were stealing, murdering the youth isn’t equal in punishment. He shot 2 rounds to scare them, therefore he knew the gun worked. Aiming at his head after knowing the gun worked is intent. The entire issue has to do with the process this case was handled, like so many other indigenous cases. The police left the crime scene for 5 days. After Colten was murdered, the cops raided the parents house and asked the mother if she was drunk after falling to her knees in pain. Colten and his friends very well may have been stealing, but shooting one of them in the head is not justifiable.

      • guuhisjoks7@hotmail.com'
        Carrie February 13, 2018 at 10:18 pm #

        Absolutely agree with you. The RCMP also played a role in how they handled the case and disrespect to the grieving mother. There should be investigation into the way the RCMP acted

    • vicklyn1@gmail.com'
      Vicky February 13, 2018 at 5:08 am #

      So right.. the missing percentage!

    • farah.sf@gmail.com'
      fjm February 14, 2018 at 10:51 am #

      He was shot in the head. That’s some accidental trigger fire.

    • Claudettemargison578@gmail.com'
      Claudette Margison February 17, 2018 at 7:54 pm #

      I totally agree. Retrial

    • Knudsen16@shaw.ca'
      Forward Thinker February 18, 2018 at 2:23 am #

      I do not agree that jury selection should be the basis for the appeal, but I do think things such as whether the kids were drunk or committing theft are not relevant and should not have been considered as evidence. I did not see anything that justified the farmer having a gun and doubt the story he told about a hang fire. Much has been made of the rifle in the car, but I see nothing to suggest it was pointed or used in a threatening manner. That being said, the farmer should not have been pointing the gun at anyone. The Appeal should be based on the errors in law.

  3. bonnagel@live.com'
    Bonnie Nagel February 12, 2018 at 11:38 pm #

    During the past Recent months, my Mother, age 96, was receiving several letters calling her for jury duty. It caused her severe anxiety, as a conscientious, Canadian Citizen, life time Saskatchewan Citizen. My Mother wore hearing aids, had glaucoma, macular degeneration. She died Jan 31, 2018. It took a lot of people and complaints, to stop the harassment. Only excuses were offered. An overhaul is overdue!

    • Kokumdonna@live.com'
      Donna M Lerat February 13, 2018 at 12:57 am #

      Hugs and sorry for your loss

  4. therapet@telus.net'
    Tat'ush February 13, 2018 at 12:25 am #

    If they’re admitting that there is something wrong with the system. Then the “not guilty” verdict of Gerald Stanley should be thrown out of court

  5. valhenry@tbaytel.net'
    chezhank February 13, 2018 at 12:26 am #

    One year after a teenager was killed on Wiebo Ludwig’s farm,(1999) police still haven’t been able to charge anyone with her death and that’s frustrating her family and people who live in the area.
    Sixteen-year-old Karman Willis was shot and killed as she was joyriding with friends through Ludwig’s farm compound.

    Do white lives not matter!

  6. Tex.bear.clark@gmail.com'
    Tex Clark February 13, 2018 at 12:34 am #

    I agree, a complete review of the justice system is needed for fair and equal representation in the Canadian courts. I know from personal experience that some Judges are bias from the get go and make up their own rules while on the bench. I had a judge state that the crown doesn’t need to show evidence to prove guilt that it was up to me to prove my innocence, which he made impossible by dismissing any testimony that conflicted with the predetermined guilty verdict. Now we have people being aquited of murder with an ignorance defense ” I thought the gun was empty”. Lady Justice is blindfolded to symbolize being blind to race, religion and only judges on the facts, however is seems that Lady Justice is peeking and now she is as dumb as a bag of nails. So once again, YES a complete review IS required.

  7. Delia_erickson@yahoo.ca'
    Delia February 13, 2018 at 1:30 am #

    How do you appear to be Native? Only in your eyes.

  8. valhenry@tbaytel.net'
    chezhank February 13, 2018 at 1:32 am #

    “As of the 2016 census, Aboriginal peoples in Canada totaled 1,673,785 people, or 4.9% of the national population.”
    For a jury of twelve +2 how many should be native?………One?
    Now let us read about the jury selection, from the Globe and Mail
    “More than 700 people from across the massive Battlefords district were issued summons to appear as part of the jury panel.
    Approximately 200 showed up in person on Monday morning.
    When Chief Justice Martel Popescul asked whether anyone needed to be excused as potential jurors, a long line quickly formed.
    About 70 people, roughly a third of those present, pleaded to be let go,
    Nearly 50,
    including about a “dozen people who appeared Indigenous ”, were excused.”
    Those “dozen people who appeared Indigenous ” were 4.9% of the 200 and more that showed up Monday for jury duty but asked to be excused.
    The defense only had 14 peremptory challenges.
    Who is to blame for not being represented on the jury?
    You can’t complain about the results if you don’t go to the polls!

  9. samuelconstant@hotmail.com'
    Sam February 13, 2018 at 1:56 am #

    What I want to know, is there going to be an appeal, clearly the case was not handled properly. Right from the start, which was the police investigation. Was this done on purpose?

  10. samuelconstant@hotmail.com'
    Sam Constant February 13, 2018 at 2:00 am #

    Is that the process of an appeal?

  11. vera.dryden@gmail.com'
    Sara February 13, 2018 at 4:13 pm #

    I agree we need an overhaul of the jury selection process but under the current system jury members are supposed to be unbiased and how likely would that be given the media coverage. People also fail to mention that all white male potential jurors around Mr Stanley age were also dismissed this time by the Crown

  12. groff77@gmail.com'
    Matt February 13, 2018 at 9:46 pm #

    Even if there was 1 or 4 or even all jury members of indigenous decent, it doesn’t guarantee a different outcome for this case or its verdict or at least it shouldn’t. If the facts of the case are presented, based on that you have to choose a verdict. if you have a preconceived notion of guilt there are still 11 other people that may not. So likely that would have ended in a hung jury or the same.

    Now in the case of disproportionate number of indigenous people convicted without having indigenous people on the jury, yes that is an issue as one person said, its a jury of your peers so there should be more BUT also if they are in fact guilty of the crimes they were charged, that should not matter either.

    With the 750 people summoned and the 225 people attending and the 50-70 trying to get removed from duty there are roughly 155 jurors to choose through so even though there are a total of 28 exclusions you are bound to get at least a few people out of the 127 remaining that are sympathetic or indifferent with regards to Indigenous people. Not all white people are racist, not all white people agree that Gerald did the right thing, not all white people are bad and not all white people will side with someone because they are white.

  13. merryderry40@yahoo.co.uk'
    Pat February 14, 2018 at 8:23 pm #

    I do feel for the Bouchie family as their son was young and might have gone on to live a successful life. He will not get the chance to live to his potential and the loss of a loving son is terrible. The RCMP should never have behaved that way to Colton’s mother. But I also feel for Mr. Stanley. He was spending a day at home mowing his lawn when a truckload of strangers appeared. They did not simply get out of the truck and ask for help with their tire. Had they done so. things likely would have turned out differently. They immediately commenced illegal and aggressive behaviour, making him think they were there to rob him. He was outnumbered. Perhaps he felt he could not safely retreat to the house or perhaps it was not in his makeup to do so. He did not ask for this. Had the truck never driven onto his farm and the young people begun behaving as they did, none of us would ever have heard of him. He would have been one of millions of Canadians who put their lawnmower away and went in for a cold beer. It is unlikely he can continue to live in any safety where he is. His life, while waiting to see if he would be imprisoned must have been terrible and he still cannot think that this is behind him. No, a person should not be killed for what the young people did at that farm, and, indeed, most people who engage in such aggressive and illegal behaviour do not meet with this end, even in Saskatchewan. But a person who is minding his own business on his own property shouldn’t have his life destroyed either. It is unlikely that anyone on that farm on that day will ever be the same. So many lives affected for such stupidity. What really has to chance is a culture where youth think that that is how they should spend their day. A better life with better opportunities is the only real solution.