Legal and Systemic Issues Left Unexplained in Stanley Trial

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In many ways, I am inherently made and professionally paid to witness what the Stanley trial verdict in February 2018 revealed about the justice system, criminal trials and the place of Indigenous people and history within them. I am a writer, a lawyer and an instructor. I am also a Métis woman from Saskatchewan. When the jury’s decision to acquit Gerald Stanley was released, I ached. I had rules of evidence in my head, professional experiences in my memory, glimmers of a quiet confidence spurred by news reports. But the result seemed like an admonishment of my naiveté. Given the racism that plagues my home province, it was as if the acquittal was my slap back into what I might call “reality.”

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