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Jail sentence for Indigenous woman seems wrong: B.C. judge

24-year-old woman gets four years behind bars for manslaughter

A judge in B.C. has sentenced an Indigenous woman to four years in prison for manslaughter, but says it doesn’t seem right that incarceration was the best available option.

Sadie Taniskishayinew was convicted last October of fatally stabbing 31-year-old Robert Boucher on a Vancouver street in November 2015.

Her trial heard that she and Boucher had been drinking, but there seemed to be little motive for the stabbing and the woman left without calling for help, then tossed he butcher knife into an alley garbage can.

Justice Susan Griffin says in a decision posted this week that Boucher’s death was senseless and imposing a fit sentence is a difficult task, considering the background of both the victim and the attacker.

The decision says Taniskishayinew is a 25-year-old Indigenous woman who has experienced significant neglect, trauma and loss, and that it is not surprising she reacts violently and impulsively, and uses alcohol and drugs.

With credit for time spent awaiting trial, Taniskishayinew will serve a further year and a half in prison and then must complete three years probation.

The Canadian Press

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