Gerald Stanley's book pitch rejected by publishing house

A Canadian publisher is saying it has no interest in sharing Gerald Stanley's side of the story when it comes to his trial and acquittal, saying it would be a continuation of injustice and would allow Stanley to profit from another man's death.

Law firm representing man acquitted of murder in Colten Boushie's death approaching publishers

A Saskatchewan jury acquitted Gerald Stanley of second-degree murder in the death of Colten Boushie. (Liam Richards/Canadian Press)

A Canadian publisher is saying it has no interest in sharing Gerald Stanley's side of the story when it comes to his trial and acquittal, saying it would be a continuation of injustice and would allow Stanley to profit from a death he caused.

Stanley was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Colten Boushie on Stanley's Biggar, Sask.-area farm. A jury acquitted him in February.

According to a statement from Between the Lines, headlined "No, We Will Not Publish Gerald Stanley's Story," Stanley's lawyers are approaching Canadian publishing houses to talk about his side of the story.

"We recognized the great deal of power and privilege we have as publishers to decide who is heard and who is not heard," said David Molenhuis, a publicist with the Toronto-based publishing house. He described the press as one that is on the side of the powerless and those who tell truths that challenge the status quo.

"If there's one story that we ought to publish, it's that of the one person who's no longer with us and that's Colten Boushie."

In its statement, Between the Lines noted Stanley's side of the story was already told in front of a jury, and pointed to what it described as failures in the handling of the case, beginning with the RCMP's treatment of the Boushie family and the selection of a seemingly all-white jury in the trial, as ways in which the justice system fails Indigenous people.

"To publish Mr. Stanley's side of the story would only serve to perpetuate our unequal justice system."

Lawyer responds to suggestions of 'book deal'

​Scott Spencer, Stanley's lawyer, confirmed with CBC that his office has made inquiries on Stanley's behalf to see if there was any interest in publishing all the facts, fairly and objectively. 

Gerry just wants to see the public record set straight.- Scott Spencer, attorney for Gerald Stanley

Stanley felt that throughout the legal process, there was a lot of misinformation circulating, according to his lawyer. 

"Gerry believed that once the facts came out at trial that the misinformation would stop and that any public discussion would be based on facts and evidence," Spencer said in a statement. "However, that has not been the case."

Scott Spencer, Gerald Stanley's attorney, said his client is not looking for a book deal, but rather an opportunity to set the public record straight. (Scott Spencer)

But Spencer took issue with Between the Lines' description of the lawyers acting as Stanley's literary agents. 

"He is not looking for a 'book deal,' we are not acting as his 'literary agents.' Gerry just wants to see the public record set straight."

Publisher urges others to consider harm

Molenhuis said given Between the Lines' mission to promote social change, he felt Stanley's lawyers had simply cast a wide net, sending off the book request to as many publishers as possible. 

"I would say they showed callous disregard for the kinds of books that we publish, the kind of press we are. I think it was just a great deal of laziness on their part that they had no idea who we were," he said. 

Between the Lines' editorial committee stood in solidarity with the Boushie family, and called for stories focused on healing, from the people who have most been affected by social injustices, he said. 

Molenhuis encouraged other publishers to consider carefully whether or not they wanted to provide a platform for Stanley and the story he wanted to share. 

"Really think long and hard about the power you have as a press to change things, to publish books that help, and publish books that might not," he said. 

with files from Olivia Stefanovich