On Friday, Gerald Stanley was acquitted of the allegations of killing an Indigenous young man in Saskatchewan, Canada. First Nations leaders, lawyers, and activists started to protest immediately after the verdict has been pronounced, accusing the Canadian judiciary system of deliberately acquitting a white farmer, instead of making righteous justice for an Indigenous man, Colten Boushie.
The politicians got involved
After the verdict has been pronounced, Justin Trudeau, Canadian PM, commented on his Twitter page the following:
“Just spoke with @Puglaas. I can’t imagine the grief and sorrow the Boushie family is feeling tonight. Sending love to them from the US.”
Then, Trudeau’s Ministers started to comment on their social media pages in the same notes. “Can and must do better,” said Jody Wilson-Raybould, the Minister of Justice.
Trudeau also commented about the situation created by Gerald Stanley’s non-guilty verdict, during a speech he held in California. He said that Canada has been facing with such situations for too many times.
Lawyers and justice representatives accuse of “political interference”
Reactions against the politicians’ comments were not late to appear.
Max Engel, a criminal lawyer from Edmonton, considers that the politicians should not comment on the verdicts because could inoculate to the public the idea that the justice is not blind and that the future verdicts could be influenced by political opinions.
Also, other justice representatives admitted that “political interference”, even in the form of social media comments, shouldn’t be happening since it can undermine the justice authority in the country.
Did Stanley come out clean due to Canadian justice system’s problems?
Colten Boushie was killed after he got shot in the head while sitting in his SUV on Stanley’s land. However, Stanley pleaded that he just tried to scare off Boushie and his fellows and that his gun accidentally went off when he was trying to get the keys out of the Boushie SUV’s ignition.
Boushie’s family lawyer, Chris Murphy, stated that the case appeared to be crystal clear. However, he said, the Canadian justice issues and an all-white jury made Stanley to be acquitted.