Gerald Stanley trial in the death of Colten Boushie

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Paladin1

milo204 wrote:

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.

 

Perfect examples of how silly it is to think people forcing their way into your home are generally harmless and just want your things.

6079_Smith_W

Well if it was in the forward position then someone who knew how to use that gun would have assumed it was loaded and ready to fire.  And it must have been forward because it did fire. For Stanley to say that he thought it was empty makes no sense.

That is the case even with a gun that isn't operating properly like the one in that video. Stanley's gun did not have that problem  though. In either case, it is irrelevant.

And to say he was scared or not thinking (yeah, I read you going through that the first time) and yet he held it up to Boushie's head and pulled the trigger?

Sorry, but that is not an excuse that gets someone a not guilty verdict. It is complete bullshit. Assuming he was just too stupid to know what he was doing he still used that gun recklessly and killed someone.

I have answered the question of what I believe happened four or five times here already. That matters far less to me than what the cops and the lawyers and the jury and the public have done with this.

And nobody assumes all home invaders are harmless. No one here has said that. I know for a fact it isn't true. What is beyond silly - it is reckless and deadly - is the assumption that having a gun around is going to fix the problem.

 

 

 

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Well if it was in the forward position then someone who knew how to use that gun would have assumed it was loaded and ready to fire.  And it must have been forward because it did fire. For Stanley to say that he thought it was empty makes no sense.

Then why didn't the Crown's firearms expert say so? If it was not possible for Gerald to think there were no shots left it would seem to be a pretty important detail to leave out. 

Pondering

Paladin1 wrote:
 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. 

Are you saying that when the last bullet is fired the slide automatically moves to the rear? 

Paladin1

Pondering wrote:

Paladin1 wrote:
 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. 

Are you saying that when the last bullet is fired the slide automatically moves to the rear? 

Sort of, mostly yes.

Every time a bullet is fired the slide moves to the rear and then back forward int he blink of an eye.

On the way back it grabs the empty case that just fired the bullet and ejects it, on the way forward it picks up the next bullet (which is being lifted up by a spring in the magazine) and then pushes the bullet back in the chamber. When you pull the trigger again the process repeats itself.

When the gun fires the last bullet the slide moves to the rear and ejects the empty case. The slide starst to move forward but is then supposed to catch on the empty magazine and stay to the rear or stay open.

Sometimes the little catch on the slide is worn down and it will not stay open. Sometimes the magazine is bent or worn down just enough so again the slide will not stay to the rear.

This first 2 minute animation video shows the basic functions of how a handgun works.  The video doesn't show the slide locking to the rear but it's a good video to explain basics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJMXXuGhINE

This second video animation shows how the slide gets locked to the rear once there is no more ammo (happens around 30 seconds in)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dM17QKQ6YC8

 

Mechanically speaking this pistol is very similar to the one that shot Colton.  I hope that helps.

6079_Smith_W

Yes, if it is empty it's supposed to slide back, but as Paladin just said:

if it is forward, the impression is that it is still loaded.

And in this case, it was loaded.

And news flash - there are a lot of things the lawyers did not press on and left unchallenged.

But according to testimony there was nothing specifically wrong with that gun. Had a malfunctioning slide been a problem, it would have been mentioned.

 

 

 

Paladin1

6079_Smith_W wrote:

But according to testimony there was nothing specifically wrong with that gun. Had a malfunctioning slide been a problem, it would have been mentioned.

A hangfire would be nearly impossible to repeat in controlled settings.  A malfunctioning slide or magazine would be very obvious to anyone manipulating the gun. It's generally not something that only happens once.

6079_Smith_W

Exactly.

And speaking of things which were not challenged, one of the things that should have been grounds for appeal was the admission of this whole anedcotal line of evidence regarding hangfire, according to the Boushie family lawyer.

In fact at one point the judge did turn down a request from the defense to admit material from a web page as "evidence".

Anecdotes from the general public about "hang fire" and a decades-old gun malfunction should not have been allowed at the Gerald Stanley trial, says the lawyer for Colten Boushie's family.

"The Trial Judge had an obligation to keep irrelevant and prejudicial evidence away from the jury. In that regard, and with respect, the Trial Judge failed," said the letter written to Saskatchewan Justice Minister Don Morgan's office dated March, 6, 2018.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/boushie-family-lawyer-says-there...

 

JKR

On what grounds did the jury have to disregard the evidence they heard that it was possible that a hang-fire occurred?

Rev Pesky

From 6079_Smith_W:

Sorry, but that is not an excuse that gets someone a not guilty verdict.

And there is the nub of your argument. The jury should not have decided as they did. Well, sorry but jury decisions are inviolable. There is no appeal of a jury decision. 

As I've said upthread, all the parsing of detail of the events that took place are meaningless. Stanley's defence was that the firing of the pistol that killed Boushie was accidental. The only person who knows, and the only who can know, whether that is true or not is Gerald Stanley. The jury accepted his version of events. End of story.

6079_Smith_W

Well now that the crown has decided to not appeal it is the end of the Stanley trial, you are right there.

But you are wrong about the rest of it, for a number of reasons. Some lawyers have asserted there were mistakes made in law and therefore solid reasons for appeal. The crown just decided to leave it.

But this notion of the sacred and inviolable jury is patent nonsense. Sorry, but no process built on the racist foundation of shutting out all Indigenous people is sacred.

There are plenty of juries that ignore the facts; it is called jury nullification. Sometimes they get it right, but in the vast majority of cases, like this one, it is the product of racism, sexism, or some other kind of discrimination.

 

Paladin1

6079_Smith_W wrote:

But this notion of the sacred and inviolable jury is patent nonsense. Sorry, but no process built on the racist foundation of shutting out all Indigenous people is sacred.

There are plenty of juries that ignore the facts; it is called jury nullification. Sometimes they get it right, but in the vast majority of cases, like this one, it is the product of racism, sexism, or some other kind of discrimination.

 

If the jury was all FN and came to the same conclusion would you still consider the verdict to be wrong?

 

6079_Smith_W

We have been around this enough times that I am not going to take that bait.

Yes a white jury is potentially able to reach a fair decision and some have. This one did not.

And the appeal to the "inviolable" status of juries is just nonsense. Aside from the fact that juries do make mistakes, when you assemble one using a racist process, that defense is gone.

 

Paladin1

I don't recall you ever answering that question specifically.

You're saying the jury reached the wrong decision. Okay, but if it was a FN jury then it would be the right decision? Or still wrong decision?  Not baiting that seems like a fair question given your opinion and views expressed. 

 

6079_Smith_W

It's actually not a fair question. It is a very manipulative question based on a made-up scenario. This wasn't a decision made by an all FN jury. That's a complete fiction here in southern Canada.

You are trying to take a case in which Indigenous people were systematically shut out of the process and trying to spin it as reverse racism - me passing judgment on white people.

Now to take this back to the real world, if you have been following these threads you might remember that I was just as critical of an Indigenous police officer who made a bad decision. You want an answer - there it is.

But on the wider reality that people who suffer discrimination often have a better perspective on it than those who do not? There is nothing discriminatory about recognizing that. Stanley's lawyer was fully aware of that when he made the decision to refuse four Indigenous people places on that jury. It is why he did it.

Pondering

Paladin1 wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

But according to testimony there was nothing specifically wrong with that gun. Had a malfunctioning slide been a problem, it would have been mentioned.

A hangfire would be nearly impossible to repeat in controlled settings.  A malfunctioning slide or magazine would be very obvious to anyone manipulating the gun. It's generally not something that only happens once.

More details keep coming out that change my perspective on what happened. I worked really hard to try to understand the gun and bullets and hangfires. I watched other videos too. In one hangfire incident with a gun with a barrel the man says he was negligent, but some viewers said it was accidental because it was a hangfire. He said he was negligent because he put the gun down and removed his ear protection without making certain and had not kept careful enough count of his shots fired, therefore he was negligent. 

So, my understanding is that the slide must have been in position because when the gun fires that action pushes the slide back and the last bullet results in the slide staying in the back position. If there is a hangfire then the bullet doesn't push the slide back, the casing isn't ejected. So if the slide is out, there is definitely no bullet, if it is in, either there is a bullet still in the gun or there was a malfunction. 

So Gerald shoots twice in the air and shoots again to make sure the gun is empty, or maybe just isn't counting his shots, the last trigger pull doesn't result in a firing so he assumes the gun is empty. Everything his happening fast so he immediately turns his attention to the SUV and runs over to turn it off. I can see that happening within 2 or 3 seconds. I can even believe that he didn't look at the gun so didn't realize the slide hadn't popped out. 

But if his testimony was that he pulled the trigger extra times to make sure it was empty that doesn't make sense. It would be much faster to simply glance at the gun.

Why did he have ammunition from 1953? He said the gun was there for target practice shooting magpies. Sounds gruesome and cruel but okay. Must have been a hell of an ammunition stockpile. Isn't it irresponsible to use such old ammunition that was stored in a shed? How about running with a gun? (assuming you aren't a soldier). 

I think he shot three times the last time not firing so he assumed the gun was empty then started running without looking at the gun to see it if was empty. 

I don't know legal definitions but there does seem to be negligent use of a firearm. I can totally see that happening with events moving so fast but that's exactly why firearms are dangerous and people are supposed to follow strict usage rules and why so many experts say guns are a bad idea, especially hand guns. 

Several incidences have been brought up of intruders who attacked innocent people who were helpless against them. And bad guys don't wear black hats, but the group wasn't that threatening. I think they looked exactly like what they were, which was a threat to property not life. They had not broken into their home. I could see it crossing through his mind that his wife may have been hit accidently but as a fleeting thought to which the natural reaction would be to yell out her name. 

I"m back to thinking manslaughter, but still not 100% sure because of so much conflicting evidence and because I'm not sure if negligence translates to manslaughter. I do see reason for FN's communities to be upset. No one aspect proves that Gerald was guilty, no one aspect proves that racism was a factor, but collectively it smells really really bad from the shoddy investigation, failure to questions promptly, cruel comments to the family, failure to protect evidence, I still can't get over that his body was left in place for 24 hours regardless of it being covered with a tarp. I know he was dead but if I were his mother it would be extra torture to know he was left lying on the ground.

Maybe if I were one of the Stanley's I would feel differently but I feel they should have asked the women to come in the house and given them coffee too. They must have been in shock with Boushie's body lying right there. I get that the Stanleys were probably in shock too so not thinking clearly but still. He told them to get back in the SUV. Pretty cold. I hope that if I accidently shot someone's friend, even under such circumstances, I would automatically be concerned for the friends. With the two men there the women were no threat. A little kindness would make me feel more sympathetic to them. 

I don't know if legally it was manslaughter or not but I think it should be. I have high expectations of gun owners. This man owned several weapons and not just hunting style. He had a handgun. Okay, I get it, some people like guns, but then there is a heavy responsibility as a gun owner to not take any chances.

I understand that in the heat of the moment he didn't think to put the gun down or make sure the slide was out but that is exactly why people like me don't like guns. It's the responsibility of the gun owner under all circumstances to handle the gun responsibly, even if they are afraid. 

Old ammunition improperty stored is not responsible because it is known that it can lead to hangfires. There is a quick way to ensure that type of gun is empty, just glance at it. My heart really goes out to Gerald because I don't believe he killed Colton deliberately or that he is necessarily racist. I don't think it will be easy for him to live the rest of his life knowing he killed a man every time he looks at his yard. 

I understand why farmers want to have guns on them when working on their farms alone. It's a valid concern. But that comes with responsibility. Much as I feel for them and for the Stanleys, it is the responsibility of gun owners to handle their weapons with the utmost safety and concern for the lives of others. 

If being really afraid means it's understandable not to follow gun safety rules then people shouldn't be allowed to have guns. The whole basis of people being allowed to have firearms is the requirement that they follow the rules and if they don't they are criminally responsible. That's the deal. 

Pondering

Paladin1 wrote:
If the jury was all FN and came to the same conclusion would you still consider the verdict to be wrong?

I can say yes to that. I wouldn't be as suspicious but if I looked into the case as I have my conclusions would be the same. 

Race can't be taken out of the equation like that. If an all FN jury convicted Gerald of second degree murder I think white people would be yelling racism. Maybe they would be right, maybe they would be wrong, but an all FN jury would call the result into question. 

 

Rev Pesky

From 6079_Smith_W:

And the appeal to the "inviolable" status of juries is just nonsense. Aside from the fact that juries do make mistakes, when you assemble one using a racist process, that defense is gone.

It is a fact in law in this country that there is no appeal of jury decisions. Like it, or don't like it, but that is the case. Think back to the trials of Henry Morgentaler.

The only grounds for appeal are mistakes in law made by the judge. In this case, the suggestion that some of the defendant's evidence shouldn't have been allowed is just plain grasping at straws. A defendant can mount any defence they choose.

If Gerald Stanley had said the reason the whole thing happened is because he was wearing starched underwear with bunny rabbits, he is entitled to mount that defence. If the jury acquitted him based on that defence, that's that. 

In this case, the Boushie family lawyer(s) are saying some of the testimony regarding the 'hangfire' should not have been allowed, but I doubt very much whether any appeal court would listen to that. The prosecution had ample opportunity to tell the jury what the evidentiary value of that testimony was. 

You are making the same mistake others are. You don't like the jury's verdict, so are looking all around trying to find some way to overthrow it. But it is a fact, in this country, that a jury can acquit based on very tenuous evidence, and no judge of judges can overthrow that decision.

6079_Smith_W

I said you are right in that this is the end of the Stanley trial. There were points of law that could have been appealed, but the crown decided against it. And sure, jury decisions cannot be appealed.

It doesn't mean the jury made the right decision. Plenty of innocent people have been convicted, and plenty of guilty people have not been held to account.

And that is underscored by the fact this was a jury tainted from the outset by racist interference.

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
And that is underscored by the fact this was a jury tainted from the outset by racist interference.

The problem with that statement -- but also why it can be made confidently -- is that it's not falsifiable.

One could also say that there were no Aboriginal jurors (or even that Stanley was acquitted) because "God wished it".

You're free to believe, until the end of days, that it all came down to "racism", and nothing can ever "prove" that wrong, but as I've noted, peremptory challenges are popular for excluding ANY potential juror who the Crown or defense has even the tiniest concern about, whether it's because of their race, their age, their sex, their economic status, their sexual orientation, or whatever.

And you may ask "but then WHY should they assume that Aboriginal jurors would have acted different than non-Aboriginal jurors??!?  That's the racist part!".  But folk who think there's an outside chance that a few Aboriginal jurors would have changed the outcome of the trial are basically assuming the same thing, aren't they?

I've asked more than once now:  did the Crown exercise its right to any peremptory challenges, and if so, why?  Surely not to exclude Aboriginal jurors, right?  Sure, it's a "stacking of the deck", or perhaps just a "removal of the pointier parts of the bell curve".  But to declare that it can only be "racist" is to hide behind the term.

6079_Smith_W

Slavery was legal too, so falling back on what is legal doesn't mean shit.

When a lawyer shuts out every Indigenous juror who comes forward there is a case there for racist abuse of the challenge provision.

And there are legal decisions saying that it is not in the spirit of the law to use it that way. The federal government has pledged to act on this injustice, and there has been a working group set up by a former judge and senator for that purpose.

So your acting like there is nothing to this because it cannot be proven is just nonsense. Whatever your motive it serves same racist mentality that let Stanley's lawyer manipulate the jury pool.

Wouldn't be such a big deal except that in this case there is a good chance someone got away with murder because of it. No, I can't prove that either. Doesn't mean it is not so.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
When a lawyer shuts out every Indigenous juror who comes forward there is a case there for racist abuse of the challenge provision.

The provision itself doesn't mandate that the Crown or defense must explain themselves.  Like how I'm allowed to vote for the (white) candidate I prefer, rather than the (black) candidate I don't prefer, and I don't have to defend that choice.  That's literally what a peremptory challenge IS.  You're free to speculate all you want, of course, but don't try to promote it to the rank of "fact".

Quote:
And there are legal decisions saying that it is not in the spirit of the law to use it that way. The federal government has pledged to act on this injustice, and there has been a working group set up by a former judge and senator for that purpose.

What a coincidence that they would decide to look into this following an unpopular verdict, though.

Quote:
Whatever your motive it serves same racist mentality that let Stanley's lawyer manipulate the jury pool.

And here we are again.  I'm in the service of racism, evidently.

6079_Smith_W

Trying to make excuses for it,  for whatever reason, yes.  That is what it amounts to.

And the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry was back in the early 90s. If you think this is just the result of this trial you might want to look again.

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Trying to make excuses for it,  for whatever reason, yes.  That is what it amounts to.

Disagreeing, for whatever reason, yes.  That is what it amounts to.

Even on a discussion board that could really use more discussion, this is beyond discussion, I guess.

JKR

Rev Pesky wrote:

In this case, the Boushie family lawyer(s) are saying some of the testimony regarding the 'hangfire' should not have been allowed, but I doubt very much whether any appeal court would listen to that. The prosecution had ample opportunity to tell the jury what the evidentiary value of that testimony was. 

I don't think the jury should be blamed for omissions made by the Crown. It was the Crown's responsibility to show why the unusual bulge in the bullet was not consequential, not the defence's, nor the jury's. I don't see how the jury could have ignored the existence of the bullet with the very unusual bulge. Even still, has a credible explanation been made for the bullet's unusual bulge? Maybe some forensic work should still be done to try to replicate it?

6079_Smith_W

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Even on a discussion board that could really use more discussion, this is beyond discussion, I guess.

Oh please. There's no discussion here? 

No one is stopping you from talking. Doesn't mean people can't be held to account for their words like trying to excuse a racist tactic simply because it happens to be legal - for now.

You're not going to start asking about that special little safe space again, are you?

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Oh please. There's no discussion here?

There's a foregone conclusion.  The rest of the words are just letters strung together.

Quote:
No one is stopping you from talking.

Thank you.  Doesn't change the foregone conclusion, but I'm glad I'm not required to hold my peace.

6079_Smith_W

No one said you were.

Now unless you have any other concerns about freedom of speech can we get back to discussion of the point you just raised? Legal or not, what happened in the Stanley trial is that every Indigenous prospective juror who came forward was sent away by his lawyer.

Whether you choose to acknowledge it, there are plenty of people, including some in government, who do recognize it for the racist act it was, and have pledged to change the law.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Legal or not, what happened in the Stanley trial is that every Indigenous prospective juror who came forward was sent away by his lawyer.

What do you mean by "legal or not"?

"Legal or not", I can paint my mailbox in a cutesy way. 
It's a bit silly to pretend there's some "or not" in there. 

Quote:
Whether you choose to acknowledge it, there are plenty of people, including some in government, who do recognize it for the racist act it was, and have pledged to change the law.

My point was that we cannot know whether it was racist or just pragmatic.  That a politician would like to take up the cause to prevent it doesn't mean it can only have been racist.  Where were these anti-racists the day before the Stanley verdict?

6079_Smith_W

Have you not been following these discussions, or do I really need to repeat myself?

There have been numerous posts about this on this and other threads, pointing out that people have been complaining about this legal flaw for at least decades. It was in the findings of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry. It was in the Iacobucci report. It has been identified by Indigenous leaders, legal experts, and court rulings.

Here's another case from 2013 which is going to the Supreme Court of Canada.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/first-nations-chal...

That's where the anti-racists were the day before the Stanley verdict.

Please read it this time.

 

 

 

Bacchus

All of them (Crown and defense) use preemptory challenges to try to mold a jury to get the result they want. Thats not racist, thats pragmatic. If its Martin Skreli the Crown wants to get people who have been screwed out of their lifes savings on the jury whereas the defense will want bankers and financial advisers on the jury. And that IS the job of the Crown and the defense. If the defense said to themselves " I think he is a racist fuck so I'll let l.ots of FN on the jury so he will get convicted' he would be disbarred

6079_Smith_W

Actually it is racist Bacchus.

If you exclude everyone of a certain race from a jury, that is racist. And it is done on a regular basis to Indigenous people in Canada.

I posted this in the thread about Senatory Murray Sinclair's group working on systemic problems in the justice system. Here it is again:

http://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-when-is-the-last-t...
 

Peremptory challenges are challenges that allow the prosecution or defence counsel to ask that any prospective juror be excused without providing any reason whatsoever. This creates a situation where either counsel can eliminate anyone including indigenous people and other minorities such as women from serving on a jury. This is still allowed in Canadian law despite Madam Justice L’Heureux-Dube’s admonition in R. v. Sherratt, a 1991 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, “The modern jury was not meant to be a tool in the hands of either the Crown or the accused indoctrinated as such through the challenge procedure, but rather was envisioned as a representative cross-section of society, honestly and fairly chosen.”

JKR

I agree that juries should bear some resemble to their community. So what should happen if an indigenous person is accused of second degree murder and a jury of 12 white people is randomly selected to form the jury?

Aristotleded24

As more information surfaces about how both the RCMP and the Crown acted in this case, you get the sense that they really didn't want to go after Stanley, and that the whole charade of charging him with second degree murder was more of a PR stunt designed to make it look like an attempt at justice was sought. If the RCMP and the Crown were that sloppy in the performance of their duties, why did they even bother to file charges and prosecute Stanley in the first place?

And what's this about having to call in a blood splatter expert from Edmoton? Are there no such experts employed by the RCMP in Saskatchewan? If the answer to that question is no, why couldn't they call for help from someone in Regina or Saskatoon?

6079_Smith_W

@ JKR

Well Senator Sinclair did mention that in northern Canada some of these trials are moved into communities. I think just getting rid of the practice of excluding people based on race would be a pretty good start.

Personally, I think this has less to do with white people's ability to be fair than it does with refusing Indigenous people a place in the jury room

 

Aristotleded24

milo204 wrote:
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.

Show me where exactly Stanley's home was invaded? Boushie and his friends were on the outside farmyard.

milo204 wrote:
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.

Except that generally the safest thing to do in the case of a break in is to move out of the way and get to a safe place (i.e. a neighbour's house) if that option is possible. It's funny you mention risk when attacking the intruder increases your risks of being injured or killed.

Aristotleded24

Some farmers are good people

National Farmers Union rejects racism, offers condolences:

Quote:

The National Farmers Union is the latest group to condemn racist remarks being made on social media following the shooting death of an Indigenous man on a rural Saskatchewan property.

The union put out a statement Wednesday afternoon saying it wishes to "express our profound sadness over the tragic shooting of Colten Boushie and extend our deepest condolences to his family and community.

"As farmers, we condemn the rampant racist remarks that have circulated since the death of Colten Boushie, including  comments made on the 'Saskatchewan Farmers' Facebook group."

National Farmers Union denounces SARM resolution:

Quote:

The National Farmers Union says it rejects a resolution passed by the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities that calls for more legal rights for people to protect themselves and their property.

The farmers union says the resolution reveals what the group calls a dangerous undercurrent of fear and aggression in rural Saskatchewan.

...

Youth adviser Christopher Sanford Beck says the focus must be on building relationships between rural neighbours – both indigenous and non-indigenous.

Rachelle Ternier, Saskatchewan co-ordinator for the NFU, says the group rejects vigilante justice.

She says a safe future for all rural residents includes working together to create better living conditions and treating each other with respect and dignity.

“We, the NFU, affirm the value of people over property. We do not support the ongoing colonial violence that continues to damage the social fabric of Saskatchewan,” she said Friday in a news release.

Rather than protesting discussion of racism, good people protest racism. Hats off to the NFU.

 

JKR

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ JKR

Well Senator Sinclair did mention that in northern Canada some of these trials are moved into communities. I think just getting rid of the practice of excluding people based on race would be a pretty good start.

Personally, I think this has less to do with white people's ability to be fair than it does with refusing Indigenous people a place in the jury room

I agree that getting rid of the practice of excluding people based on race would be a good start. I also think that it is important to come up with proactive ways that help minorities participate in the jury system in the numbers that reflect their proportion of the population. It seems to me that rightfully few indigenous people feel comfortable with our judicial system and this might be limiting them from taking part in the judicial process. I think their should be more incentives to participate. Just travelling to and from a reserve would be difficult and expensive.

I also think there should be defined ratios that should be met. So in a place like Saskatoon or Regina, indigenous participation should be at least something like 1/6th. So a 12 person jury in Saskatchewan would have to have at least 2 indigenous people.

6079_Smith_W

I don't think there necessarily needs to be a quota, because it would be hard to determine the basis. Should there be gender parity? or representation for other things? Really, I think getting rid of abuse of peremptory challenged is the main thing because it is a clearly racist tactic.

Beyond that just who gets called may be good enough. Though I have heard that in some jurisdictions it is based on property ownership, which in itself cuts out a lot of people. And a complaint raised in the Stanley case was that access to transit, especially since the shutdown of our provincial bus line, meant it was difficult for some people to get to this trial.

 

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Really, I think getting rid of abuse of peremptory challenged is the main thing because it is a clearly racist tactic.

Other than when it's used in a trial involving a white accused and a white victim.

Rev Pesky

From 6079_Smith_W:

When a lawyer shuts out every Indigenous juror who comes forward there is a case there for racist abuse of the challenge provision.

How do you know that there were no people with First Nations ancestry on the jury?

Paladin1

I've heard someone from the jury selection say that half of the FN people who showed up, around 100, asked to be excuses from the trial. It would be interesting to hear why, if accurate, so many wanted to be excused.

I haven't read any ideas that would seemingly improve the peremptory challenge. I'd want my lawyer to retain the ability to try and turf someone who seems biased from the start. I don't believe a panel of white people would be automatically anymore racist than a panel of black or FN people.

I'd maybe call into question using locals in a case like this as I can see local bias playing a role.

6079_Smith_W

No, if you deliberately turn away every Indigenous juror, it is still racist. Doesn't matter who the defendant is.

All the news reports made the point of saying "no visibly Indigenous", because no, we don't know for sure. But if someone is making that decision based on how someone looks, it doesn't matter if someone passes for white and happens to make it on to the jury.

It is still racist abuse of the peremptory challenge. I think we have gone through these ones already.

Paladin, whatever you believe, sometimes juries do not make a fair decision. But the more fundamental problem is that whether white people can be fair or not, that doesn't make it right to deny Indigenous people a place on a jury. And if you say you want a lawyer to retain that right you seem to be implying white people are fair, but Indigenous people are not.

About 750 were called, and over 200 showed up. I'm not aware than anyone did a breakdown of that, but questions were raised about how easy it might have been for some people to get there.

There were questions about why they didn't move the trial to Saskatoon. That requires a call for a change of venue, and neither of the lawyers requested that. Not sure why.

 

Misfit Misfit's picture

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Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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It is still racist abuse of the peremptory challenge.

It's no more an "abuse" of the peremptory challenge than voting for the person who looks most like you is an "abuse" of the secret ballot.

Seems a bit perverse that we would not require the Crown or defense to state their reasons for a peremptory challenge only so that afterward we can tell them "what their reasons were" all along.

As I say, though, it's totally fine if the feds want to abolish this practice, as long as everyone is similarly fine with directing their complaints to "Mathematics, random" when the lottery just as clearly "stacks the deck" and there's nothing either side can do about it.

6079_Smith_W

Actually, according to the ruling in R v. Sherratt (see above) it is abuse. Just one example of several I just cited .

And a voter's free choice is not the same as refusing everyone of a certain race from playing a role in a legal process, though "looks like you" is a cute euphemism.

The random choice in this case would have resulted in as many as four Indigenous jurors instead of none.

In the Helen Betty Osborne case it would have been six instead of none.

Better odds than when you have a lawyer who is willing to resort to racism to shut anyone out. So yes, I think people know what it means. I'm glad you approve.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Except that a voter's free choice is not the same as refusing everyone of a certain race from playing a role in a legal process, though "looks like you" is a cute euphemism.

My point was not that either of these is a good thing that we should applaud.

My point is that when reasons don't need to be defended, we're basically saying that any and all reasons are acceptable reasons.

Let me be even more "cute":  you can vote for the candidate with the haircut you like the most.  You can vote for the candidate whose name has the fewest vowels in it.  You can vote for the candidate who sort of looks like that cartoon character you like. 

I'd love it if everyone could vote for the candidate who might do the most good for the most citizens, but when no reason for voting is required, it's really not possible to "abuse" that vote. 

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Better odds than when you have a lawyer who is willing to resort to racism to shut anyone out. So yes, I think people know what it means.

I think that's where we disagree, but perhaps we only disagree with what type of racism this is.

We've all heard that outcomes can be racist, even if no personal racism is involved.  If a drugstore puts its 10 most stolen products behind lock and key, and four of those are "mostly" used by POC, the outcome is racist, even if the intent is solely to protect products that are popularly stolen.

Then there's a store that says "no Black people" (or, "only three students allowed at one time" -- which I saw posted in a convenience store window the other day).

Do you feel that the defense (or Crown) excluding Indigenous prospective jurors (and, in other cases, other identifiable prospective jurors) is racist in intent, or racist in outcome?  Do these lawyers just personally dislike Indigenous (or other racialized) people, or are they being pragmatic, leading to a racist outcome?

6079_Smith_W

How am I supposed to know that? Besides, it doesn't matter, Magoo.

Like plenty of other things in the leadup and fallout from this, it ultimately helps systemic racism fuck people around. It doesn't matter one bit if a lawyer personally hates Indigenous people or if he thinks he is just doing the right thing for his client.

People do vile things all the time because they think it is the right thing. People get fucked over all the same, and it is still racism.

Personally I think it is worse in some ways. With a true believer, even a racist one, at least there's some consistency however messed up. They are honest about who they hate. Or at least they are just stupid and ignorant.

Those people who excuse this stuff because the rules supposedly allow it, or because it's their job, and pretend that has nothing to do with with hatred and racism are nothing but cheap hypocrites. When a lawyer does that it isn't the rules - it is he who makes that decision - much as he might want to excuse it as "legal".

He might want to deny responsibility and claim he is just going by the rules, but that is not true.

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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How am I supposed to know that?

You seem to feel you know lots of other things that nobody else would profess to know.

6079_Smith_W

Only things that are right in front of our faces, like every Indigenous person being refused a spot on the jury.

Or things which were right behind people's heads. Which is where that gun was pointed when Gerald Stanley pulled the trigger, and it went off.

If I am repeating these things too much, well maybe it is because they are being studiously ignored.

 

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