"I wouldn't want the public to think that a sentencing circle was ordered and that this person has somehow escaped what would be an appropriate sentence. The Crown's position is and continues to be that a penitentiary sentence is the only appropriate disposition,"Don Morgan
Saskatchewan Justice Minister
and Attorney General
I find it extremely inappropriate for the Attorney General to speak out publicly on a matter that is still before the courts in Saskatchewan.The case against Christopher Pauchay,
an aboriginal man who nearly froze to death, and whose small children did die of exposure, has been referred to a traditional sentencing circle. Mr. Pauchay had ventured out of his home one night, with his two small daughters, in -50 degree wind chills. He became separated from the children and all were overcome by the weather conditions.
Mr. Pauchay has pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing the death of his children, and told the court that he was has an alcohol addiction and was extremely intoxicated when he ventured outside with them.
In view of the guilty plea, the court now needs only to bring down a sentence in the case.
Due to the fact that there was no premeditated 'intent' to cause the death of the children, and in view of the substance abuse health problems that Pauchay acknowledges and wishes to address, the judge in the matter has referred sentencing to an aboriginal 'sentencing circle' of Elders and peers from his Reserve community.
Now for the reality of Saskatchewan life.
Subtle racism exists in the Province of Saskatchewan ... period! It is generally what could be called, 'passive aggressive'. This is the way that an individual will tell you that they are not racist, have nothing against first nations people, and then will spout out the most outrageous racist crap you can imagine.
Many individuals, including Saskatchewan's Minister of Justice, want Mr. Pauchay to be sentenced to at least 2 years incarceration, in order that he does time in a Federal Penitentiary. This opinion reflects the attitude of many who do not want 'rehabilitation' in this case, they want 'punishment'!
I am going to guess that the Justice Minister's office is being inundated with calls from those who don't agree with the Judge ordering use of a traditional aboriginal sentencing circle - hence his inappropriate public comments on the case.
Stay tuned ......