Trying To Bend Justice On The Wheel Of Progressive Pressure
Apparently the prime minister of Canada is not sold on Canada’s system of trial by jury. He’s not alone. Members of his cabinet also seem to think there’s a better way to dispense justice.
Those are take-aways from comments made in the wake of the Colten Boushie case, in which a native man was shot and killed while joy-riding on private property in Saskatchewan. Stressing he didn’t want to get into the details of the case, the PM said, “I am going to say we have come to this point as a country far too many times. I know Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians alike know that we have to do better.”
His justice minster , Jody Wilson-Raybould, took the native side, ignoring the fears of farmers who are subject to these property invasions on a disturbing basis. "I truly feel your pain and I hear all of your voices. As a country we can and must do better — I am committed to working every day to ensure justice for all Canadians.”
Trudeau then underlined his wavering commitment to juries by entertaining the Boushie family and their group in Ottawa, making supportive noises about doing "something".
Not to be outdone, new NDP leader Jagmeet Singh went full grievance. "Already Indigenous youth live with little hope for their future, and today they have again been told that their lives have less value. We must confront the legacy of colonialism and genocide so they can see a brighter future for themselves.”
Forget that all the witnesses with Boushie were either drunk of asleep in the car and later changed their sworn testimony several times. Or that they’d previously tried stealing a vehicle on another farm while causing property damage. Or that it was dark and farmer Gerald Stanley was panicked because he couldn’t find his wife in the confusion.
At issue in the acquittal of Stanley was the absence of native jurors on the panel that delivered the not-guilty verdict. The conclusion— not debunked by Trudeau or his justice minister— is that justice in Canada cannot be colour blind, and that a panel of white people cannot deliver a fair verdict in a case involving someone not of their own community. In short, white culture caused this.
While there were as many as a hundred natives in the jury pool, reports allege many begged off while others were disqualified when they couldn’t convince the court that they could deliver an unbiased verdict. In the end the defence accepted none of the prospective native jurors. After a contentious trial, Stanley was acquitted.
Immediately, the agents of native grievance cried foul in the media. The usual CBC heated voices stoked the anger with stories on ages-old bias and racism. Nowhere did anyone ask why so many in the native community couldn’t be bothered to accept jury duty. Or why so may of its members keep getting into legal trouble.
Trudeau was coy about replacing our justice system --the one that has buttressed society back to the Magna Carta-- with any other. By making his comments opaque and ignoring the victims of property crime he leaves the issue of ratios on juries, rules of evidence and sentencing hanging like a bad smell. Does he think native justice circles are the answer? Who knows? But it would fit Trudeau's diversity concept.
If all this reminds you of the infamous 2012 Trayvon Martin case, you’re not far off the mark. Martin was a 17-year-old black man shot to death by Latino George Zimmerman while bashing Zimmerman’s head on the concrete edging of a road in a Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman had been monitoring Martin as the young man skulked in the shadows on a rainy night at Zimmerman’s community (From January 1, 2011, through February 26, 2012, police were called to Zimmerman’s development 402 times).
An eyewitness testified that he saw the two men scuffling and Martin pinned down the smaller Zimmerman, prompting the shooting.
Of course, this is not how the story was reported by the race hustlers such as Al Sharpton and Eric Holder (“We must not -- as we have too often in the past -- let this opportunity pass.”). Indulged by an incurious media, they created a story where Martin had gone to the store to get candy for his younger brother and was ambushed on his way home by a vigilante, who Time magazine labelled a “white Latino”. (In fact Martin was buying Skittles to make a recreational drug called Purple Drank and loitered in the development for at least a half hour.)
Pictures of Martin were often of a much younger Trayvon, not the healthy 190-pound man who was doing martial arts.
When Zimmerman was acquitted the gears of grievance spun many of the same issues about white justice, tainted juries and unbridled racism. In this they were stoked by president Barack Obama (Trudeau’s role model) who had declared before the verdict that Martin could’ve been his own son. Hint, hint.
For Obama, who learned his radicalism from former Weathermen terrorists and racist preachers, this was no benign remark. (indeed he would make a habit of inserting himself into active cases throughout his eight-year presidency.) In trying to sculpt the new model society, the system of justice by jury stands in the way of reforming society. Destabilizing public faith in the jury system is step one to inserting his own brand of “socially acceptable” justice in its place.
That would mean ratios on juries, preferential sentencing for chosen groups, restrictive rules for police investigating racial cases. In short a system the reinforces the memes of the progressive left, not justice.
If you don’t think Trudeau is in accord with this, I have some muskeg in Nunavut I’d like to sell you.
Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy.is the host of the podcast The Full Count with Bruce Dowbiggin on anticanetwork.com. He’s also a regular contributor three-times-a-week to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster, he is also the best-selling author of seven books. His website is Not The Public Broadcaster (http://www.notthepublicbroadcaster.com)