The Saskatchewan Crown announced Wednesday the acquittal of Gerald Stanley stands.Kathleen Martens
The uncle of Colten Boushie say he’s floored the Crown won’t appeal the not-guilty verdict of last month’s controversial murder trial.
“They tell us to have faith in the justice system but this is tough,” said Alvin Baptiste.
Baptiste was reacting to the Crown’s announcement Wednesday that it didn’t find sufficient grounds to seek leave to appeal the jury’s decision.
“We have grounds,” Baptiste said. “There were problems.”
But what the family or public believes were problems doesn’t equal grounds, said Anthony Gerein, assistant deputy attorney general for Saskatchewan.
“The Crown can only appeal if the court made an error about the law alone,” said Gerein, at a news conference in Regina.
“The Crown cannot appeal a disagreement over the facts, the interpretation of witness evidence, or because a particular perspective leads to the opinion that the verdict was unreasonable.” Gerein added.
Baptiste said the family knew the Crown was revealing its decision Wednesday but didn’t know in advance what it would be. He said he was “shocked and saddened” by the news.
The announcement comes just a day after the family learned the RCMP ‘s handling of the 2016 case will be investigated by The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission.
Boushie, a 22 year-old Cree youth, was shot in the back of the head inside a vehicle he was a passenger in that drove onto Stanley’s farm outside Biggar, Sask.
The developments have taken the family on a roller coaster ride of emotions, said Baptiste.
“I have to stay strong for my family and the youth,” Baptiste said from North Battleford, Sask.
Gerein extended his sympathy on the death of Boushie. “How sad it is for everyone who knew him and those who will not get the chance to know him that he is gone far too soon,” he said.
The decision of the all-white jury touched off anti-racism rallies across Canada. Boushie’s family travelled to Ottawa immediately afterwards to call for justice reforms.
They especially want to see changes to the way juries are selected.