The makeup of juries in Ontario goes on trial this week as two convicted killers fight their guilty verdicts in a case that goes to the heart of the justice system.So you mean had an aboriginal or two been on the jury, they might have judged the evidence differently?
At issue before the province's top court is whether the aboriginal men were treated shabbily because on-reserve First Nations people were excluded from the juries that convicted them.
"Our society has proven to be very efficient at charging First Nations and jailing First Nations," said defence lawyer Julian Falconer.
"We don't seem so good at constructively involving First Nations in the justice system, such as their participation in the jury system."
Last summer, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a manslaughter conviction against Clifford Kokopenace as reasonable.
However, in an unusual twist, the court put the ruling on hold in light of the constitutional challenge sparked by the jury-representation issue.
A non-aboriginal jury in Kenora, Ont., convicted Kokopenace in 2008 of stabbing a friend to death on the Grassy Narrows reserve.
Also involved in the Appeal Court hearing is Clare Spiers, an aboriginal with a long record of violent crime. He was convicted of first-degree murder in 2007 in Barrie, Ont., for kidnapping a woman and slitting her throat...
Sort of in the same way that that jury in California handled the original O.J. Simpson murder case?
Isn't that nothing more than the soft bigotry of low expectations?