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Political commentary on court verdicts hurts views of justice system: lawyers

15 February 2018

Approximately 100 people gathered with candles and signs in hand, some faces expressing confusion and despair.

In a tweet sent Friday, Trudeau said he couldn't imagine "the grief and sorrow" the Boushie family was feeling after a jury found Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley not guilty of second-degree murder for his role in Boushie's death. A third shot killed Boushie.

"My uncle was beat to death in Vernon and the sentence for that was three months when I was a child, and this really triggered me", said Laurie Wilson, a PIB member and legal advocate with the Okanagan Nation Alliance. "We must find ways to channel the national anger that is among all Indigenous people and support non-Indigenous peoples to reform the criminal justice system and stop racism in its tracks".

"We have to do this jointly in a co-operative, co-developed manner and fashion with treating our leadership as equals around that table", Bellegarde said in an interview Wednesday.

"Justice for Colten" has become a popular rallying cry in the time since the shooting, drawing attention not only to Boushie's murder but to the larger situation facing indigenous Canadians, who disproportionately live in poverty and lack access to basic necessities.

That investigation cleared officers past year of wrongdoing - a decision the family has asked the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission (CRCC) to examine.

Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done.

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"No other life should be lost before actions are taken". We will not be silent.

Perhaps the most upsetting story I read was one that The Globe And Mail ran a couple of months after the killing.

Following the reading of the statement and Nakuset's speech, a small group practiced drumming and traditional Indigenous throat singing, as the crowd silently listened.

If there is to be justice for Colten Boushie we can take these actions and create a Canada that confronts the historical injustices that have led to his death.

"Indigenous people across this country are angry, they're heartbroken and I know Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians alike know that we have to do better", Trudeau told reporters.

The reality is, justice systems do have flaws and there is racism in the world. It is also about a well-founded crisis of confidence in a justice system that has persistently failed to guarantee Indigenous peoples a fair shake.

But the case shines a light on the ongoing failures of the Canadian justice system that, at minimum, gives the impression that justice is unfairly distributed.

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The message being conveyed in protests across the country is not simply about the particulars of this case.

"The right to challenge jurors is a right an accused, not of a victim or victims or witnesses of a trial, so that's the starting point to all this", he says. I DO believe he meant to protect his home and property from people that he believed were a threat to it, because farmers like him know that theft in rural Saskatchewan has been an escalating issue for the past few years. "They're not sweeping us under the carpet". But not everyone has responded in the same way, and people on both sides of the issue have resorted to derogatory, sometimes racist criticisms.

Typically, the clerk pulls roughly 20 cards in the first round, and people corresponding to those numbers line up at the front of the courtroom.

"But first and foremost-there are many, many Native students at Concordia", said Xurukulasuriya.

"As Canadian society grapples with the ongoing reality of racism and the challenges of reconciliation, Canada's universities reaffirm our commitment to fostering a renewed relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada, by examining and changing our own institutional approaches, policies, practices and structures".

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation Chief Vince Tacan, a former police officer with Dakota Ojibway Police Service, said he wasn't surprised the farmer was found innocent.

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Political commentary on court verdicts hurts views of justice system: lawyers