The acquittal of Gerald Stanley in the shooting of Colten Boushie sparked outrage across Canada. The anger was further fuelled by the fact that the jury was all white, in a community that had a significant Indigenous population. A look into Canada’s legal history reveals that this was not an anomaly. After the Gerald Stanley verdict, the government proposed sweeping changes to the legal system in Bill C-75. The legal community has been divided on these proposed changes – some say they are an important first step to make juries more diverse, while others say they will actually make juries less diverse.
Kent Roach, chair of law and public policy at the University of Toronto, gives the legal history of whitewashing juries.