Legacy terrible, however retrial of Ontario trucker in lodge dying in Edmonton is extra delicate to sufferer: attorneys

Lawyers say the retrial of a man due next week for the murder of a woman in his hotel room 10 years ago is an example of how cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls should be dealt with.

They say Bradley Barton’s second trial was an improvement over the first as the instructions to jury members reminded the jury of the traumatic effects of colonialism and encouraged them not to judge the woman’s heritage and lifestyle.

Barton, a truck driver from Mississauga, Ontario, was convicted in February of manslaughter in the death of Cindy Gladue, a 36-year-old Metis and Cree woman.

Cindy Gladue is shown in a photo.

Cindy Gladue is shown in a photo.

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A jury found him not guilty of first degree murder in 2015. Both the Alberta Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court ordered a new trial.

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Trucker Bradley Barton convicted of manslaughter of a woman at an Edmonton hotel

His original acquittal sparked rallies calling for justice for indigenous women.

There has been outrage because Gladue has been referred to as a “native girl” and several times as a prostitute more than two dozen times, said Alexandria Winterburn, a board member of the Indigenous Bar Association.

“It was absolutely unnecessary, and it all helped people see her not as a person, not a mother, not a daughter, not a sister, but an object like that,” said Winterburn.

“Their life was important and justice was about their business.”

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Cindy Gladue relieved loved ones after her death in 2011 with a guilty verdict

Cindy Gladue’s loved ones when she passed away in 2011 – February 19, 2021. relieved with a guilty verdict

“I will not call the conviction ‘justice’ until we know what the verdict is,” said Jean Telliet, an indigenous rights attorney. “The legacy of this case is appalling.”

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But Telliet said the second judge’s jury instructions were unique.

Barton, 53, testified during his second trial that he paid Gladue to have “rough sex” in his Edmonton hotel room and was shocked when he woke up the next morning to find her dead.

The Yellowhead Inn in North Edmonton. June 10, 2011.

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The Crown argued that Barton Gladue had engaged in sexual acts while she passed out, which caused a severe wound in her vagina. Lawyers said he then picked her up, threw her in the room’s bathtub, and let her bleed to death.

Doctors testified that Gladue had four times the legal alcohol limit on her system.

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Winterburn and Telliet said the most appalling part of the first trial was that Gladue’s preserved vaginal tissue was presented in court.

Winterburn said the Canadian Supreme Court recognized that it was the first time in Canadian history “that a real piece of a person was brought to trial as evidence”.

“It doesn’t really get across in writing how absolutely horrible it is because there was no warning to her family (in court),” she said.

“You … literally acted out her bleeding to death,” added Telliet. “The messages from this case are huge and they are long-lasting,” she said.

“Indigenous women are afraid. When … justice is so brutal and so violent itself, justice doesn’t end. You destroyed it.

“All you’re doing is duplicating the violence that happened before.”

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Winterburn and Saskatchewan-based attorney Eleanore Sunchild agree that the legal system made some progress when dealing with the history of colonialism during the retrial.

Judge Stephen Hillier urged the judges to reflect on their own prejudices prior to deliberations.

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“The evidence shows that Ms. Gladue is an indigenous person,” Hillier told them.

“This is of particular concern as indigenous women and girls face a long history of colonization and systemic racism, the effects of which continue to be felt.

“I also remind you to avoid any stereotypical assumptions about indigenous women who may have been involved in sex work. If you reject these myths and stereotypes, you have to remember that these people are entitled to the same protection that the criminal justice system promises. “

Winterburn said it was unusual for a judge to insert this memory.

“Unfortunately we live in a society where there is prejudice and racism. Just letting people know that these prejudices can exist … that’s very important. “

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The Native Women’s Association of Canada points out deficits in the federal action plan for MMIWG

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