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The Dirty Secrets of Jury Selection, According to Lawyers

fter Gerald Stanley was acquitted of murdering Colten Boushie in 2018, arguing that his gun misfired when he shot the young Cree man at close range, protests broke out across the country.

The case had exacerbated tensions between rural white Canadians and Indigenous peoples.

Stanley, 58, a white farmer, testified that he was scared when 22-year-old Boushie and his friends drove onto their property; Boushie’s friends said they were looking for help after getting a flat tire. Stanley said he thought he had only loaded two rounds into his handgun until a “hang fire” resulted in a third round going off while his gun was pointed at Boushie’s head.


Ottawa-based defence attorney Michael Spratt said years ago he represented a young Haitan immigrant who was tried for second-degree murder following a bar fight in L’Orignal, Ontario that involved racist remarks.

“He was maybe one of the only racialized individuals that lived in L’Orignal.”

Outside the courthouse, Spratt said there were signs that referred to his client as the N-word, stating he should be hung. Spratt said the Crown challenged the only potential Black juror—a teacher in her 40s.

“My client, who was like the only Black guy in town whose offence was motivated and provoked by racial hate and who was subjected to this disgusting protest when he was brought into court, sees the Crown attorney challenge the only Black person in the room,” he said. Although it may have been a coincidence, or the Crown not wanting two teachers on the jury, “from (my client’s) perspective justice wasn’t perceived to have been done at all.”


Read Manisha Krishnan’s full article: Vice News

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