Law prof says Wal-Mart baby ruling 'landmark'

A University of Saskatchewan law professor says Supreme Court decision on Saskatchewan child abandonment case will be studied for years.

Step-dad says family relieved by Supreme Court decision

A Saskatchewan law professor described today's ruling as landmark. (CBC)

A Saskatoon law professor said a Supreme Court decision on a Saskatchewan child abandonment case "is clearly a landmark decision in terms of criminal law."

Glen Luther teaches criminal law at the University of Saskatchewan.

"This will be a case that's taught for many years, I suspect, in law schools across the country," he said.

The Supreme Court upheld two earlier acquittals of the young woman known as A.D.H. to protect her identity. She had been charged with abandoning her newborn baby boy in a Wal–Mart washroom on May 21, 2007.

The woman, 20, did not know she was pregnant and, immediately after giving birth, believed the baby was dead.

Lawyers for the Saskatchewan government argued at both of her trials that she had a responsibility to reasonably check whether the baby was alive. She was acquitted at both trials and the government appealed the case to the Supreme Court.

Luther said the high court ruling is significant "in terms of the issue of what does the guilty mind requirement require in an offense like this.

"They all agree that she did not have a guilty mind."

In northern Saskatchewan, the young woman's step-dad said the family is relieved by the court's finding.

"I think the court made the right decision, all along we've been professing she didn't know what was happening with her," he told CBC News.

He said his step-daughter is moving ahead with her life.

"She's being a mom, she had three other children, she's got four children in total," he said. "She's doing very well."