Cindy Gladue murder case: Alberta Crown appeals acquittal
Crown prosecutors in Alberta have filed an appeal over the acquittal of an Ontario truck driver in the death of an Edmonton sex worker.
"The death of Cindy Gladue was shocking and appalling," head Crown prosecutor Michelle Doyle said in a statement today.
"It also resulted in significant harm to her family and the community and the [Alberta Crown Prosecution Service] continues to take that very seriously."
Gladue, a 36-year-old mother of three who was of Cree descent, bled to death in the bathtub of Barton's Edmonton hotel room in June 2011.
The notice of appeal was filed late Wednesday afternoon, which is well within the 30-day window to appeal. Government spokesman Dan Laville denies prosecutors were bowing to pressure from the public.
He said in a written statement that appeals of jury verdicts must be based on the law and instructions given to the jury.
"While the public has every right to discuss, comment, and express all opinions about a particular case, it is also a fundamental principle of our justice system that prosecutorial decisions, including the decision to initiate an appeal, are based exclusively on an analysis of the law and on an application of the rule of law," Laville said.
"The notoriety of a case or public response to a verdict or ruling plays no part in those decisions."
In the notice of appeal, the Crown lists four points of appeal, which must be based on errors of law.
The Crown contends that the judge erred in law on the following grounds:
- In his instructions to the jury with respect to manslaughter.
- In his instructions to the jury with respect to motive.
- In making a ruling under Section 276 of the Criminal Code after the close of evidence without any application having been brought by the defence and without a hearing on the issue.
- In instructing the jury that the complainant's consent on a previous occasion could be used to support a finding of honest but mistaken belief in consent on this occasion.
The jury's decision outraged people who called the decision another sign of systemic bias against indigenous women. Rallies to draw attention to the case took place across the country Thursday.
Gladue's daughters led a crowd of hundreds of people in a march around Edmonton's courthouse over the noon hour.