Poll finds Canadians divided over verdict in Colten Boushie case

Angus Reid poll finds Canadians are divided over the verdict in the Colten Boushie case, but in Saskatchewan a majority say it was a “good and fair” decision. File / Global News

A new poll by Angus Reid says Canadians are divided over the decision made by the jury in the Colten Boushie case.

Boushie, 22, was shot and killed on a Saskatchewan farm in July 2016.

READ MORE: Gerald Stanley found not guilty of murder of Colten Boushie

A jury found Gerald Stanley not guilty of second-degree murder.

The poll released Tuesday by Angus Reid said 32 per cent of those surveyed who knew about the case found the verdict “flawed and wrong.” Another 30 per cent said the decision was “good and fair” while the largest group – 38 per cent – were unsure.

However in Saskatchewan, 63 per cent of those surveyed said the jury’s decision was fair, with 17 per cent saying it was wrong and 21 per cent saying they were undecided.

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Figures may not add up to 100 per cent due to rounding.

READ MORE: Trudeau’s comments on Boushie case may have ‘tainted’ a potential appeal process: lawyer

After the verdict was rendered, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the country’s justice system must do better in the future as he expressed his sympathy to the Boushie family.

Nearly half of those polled – 46 per cent – said Trudeau’s comments were inappropriate, with 32 per cent saying the comments were appropriate and 22 per cent undecided.

When it comes to jury reform, 59 per cent agreed with the statement “we should reform these rules to ensure juries reflect the whole community better.”

Much was made of the fact that no one on the jury in the Stanley trial was Indigenous.

The federal government is now considering modifications to jury selection, including the rules for peremptory challenges, which allows each legal team to excluding any would-be juror without having to provide a reason.

READ MORE: Door open to eliminating peremptory challenges, justice minister suggests

The Angus Reid survey was conducted on Feb. 18 and 19 of 2,501 adults who are members of the Angus Reid forum.

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The margin of error is +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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