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Questions raised as to why bail was granted in Colten Boushie shooting death

Questions have been raised as to why Gerald Stanley was granted bail in the shooting death of Colten Boushie.
Questions have been raised as to why Gerald Stanley was granted bail in the shooting death of Colten Boushie. Ryan Kessler / Global News

Questions are being raised as to why Gerald Stanley, the man accused in the shooting death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie, was granted bail.

The decision came down last Friday, and many took to social media to denounce it.

READ MORE: Colten Boushie’s death continues to cause social media firestorm

Criminal defence lawyer Kevin Hill said public safety and a person’s likelihood to attend court are a judge’s main considerations for bail.

And statistically speaking, he said there is a low re-occurrence rate for people charged with murder.

He also noted that no criminal record and community involvement could be factors in Stanley’s release.

“If that’s what is the true state of affairs, it may not have been a very close call for the judge to release a person accused under those circumstances,” Hill said.

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Evidence presented at Stanley’s bail hearing last week is under a publication ban.

READ MORE: Colten Boushie’s death continues to cause social media firestorm

However, Winona Wheeler, an associate professor of indigenous studies at the University of Saskatchewan, thinks there may be a double standard.

“If this was a situation that was totally turned around where it was an aboriginal man … I don’t think that person would be walking away on bail,” Wheeler said.

“The guy who shot the kid is getting police protection when he should be in jail.”

READ MORE: Sask. RCMP say online comments about Colten Boushie shooting could be criminal

Hill said there is a presumption of innocence in our legal system.

“This gentleman, or anyone charged with a crime, may well be, and often is, actually innocent,” Hill said.

“It would be exceedingly unfair for somebody to serve jail time who has not been convicted of anything.”

Stanley is due back in court Sept. 13.

Ryan Kessler contributed to this story

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