Canadian Bar Review
criminal law, property, criminal justice, defences, statutory defences, air of reality, defence of property, trespass, jury instructions, castle doctrine, Indigenous lands, Treaty relations
In 2016, Gerald Stanley shot 22-year-old Colten Boushie in the back of the head after Boushie and his friends entered his farm. Boushie died instantly. Stanley relied on the defence of accident and was found not guilty be an all-white jury. Throughout the trial, Stanley invoked concerns about trespass and rural crime (particularly property crime), much of which was of limited relevance to whether or not the shooting was an accident. We argue that the assertions of trespass shaped the trial, yet were not tested by the jury through a formal invocation of the defence of property.
Alexandra Flynn & Estair Van Wagner, “A Colonial Castle: Defence of Property in R v Stanley” (2020) 98:2 Can Bar Rev 359.