Crown won't appeal Raymond Cormier's acquittal

Crown won't appeal Raymond Cormier's acquittal
From CBC - March 13, 2018

The woman who helped raise15-year-old Tina Fontainesays she is disappointed after learning Crown prosecutorswill not appeal the case of the man acquitted in her death.

"I do not know how to really feel about it, but I just know it was just like getting slapped," said Thelma Favel, a great aunt who raised Fontainefor several years."All I thought about was Tina. I guess she just did not matter."

Last month, ajury found Raymond Cormier, 56, not guilty of second-degree murder in connection with the death of the Indigenous teen, whose 72-pound body was found wrapped in a duvet cover weighed down with rocks in the Red River in Winnipeg on Aug. 17, 2014.

Prosecutors said Tuesday they will not appeal.

"When a jury finds the accused person not guilty, the Crown can only appeal errors on questions of law," a Manitoba Justice spokesperson said in a statement.

"After a critical review of the law by the Manitoba Prosecution Service's appeal unit and the Crown attorneys who prosecuted thecase, it has been determinedthere are no grounds to base a successful appeal."

Fontaine'sdeath added pressure to calls for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.

The cause of her death remains a mystery.

Calls for justice

Critics pointed to the verdict as an example of howCanada's justice system fails Indigenous peoples, and there were several marches across the country after Cormier was set free.

Observers in and outside the Indigenous community continue to call for justice reformsbased on the outcomes of the Cormiertrial and Gerald Stanley case.


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