The Supreme Court of Canada has declined to hear the appeal of a Yukon man who claimed his 2013 conviction on robbery and the attempted murder of a Haines Junction RCMP officer was tainted due to a “racially flawed” jury selection. (Black Press Media file)

Supreme Court of Canada dismisses Yukon man’s appeal over ‘racially flawed’ jury selection

The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed the case of a Yukon man who claimed his 2013 conviction on robbery and the attempted murder of a Haines Junction RCMP officer was tainted due to “racially flawed” jury selection.

A Whitehorse jury convicted Chris Cornell of eight criminal charges in October 2013 after he and an accomplice robbed Madley’s General Store in Haines Junction in 2011. A high-speed police chase followed, during which Cornell fired a bullet out the back of his getaway vehicle, striking the windshield and dashboard of the pursuing police truck and seriously injuring RCMP Cpl. Kim MacKeller with shrapnel. Cornell was sentenced to 11 and a half years in jail and 10 years of probation.

Cornell, who is First Nations, unsuccessfully took his case to the Yukon Court of Appeal, claiming that his right to a fair trial had been compromised because, among other things, the Crown had excluded Indigenous people from the jury and that, during the trial, the jury learned that Cornell has a tattoo that reads “fuck the police.”

The Yukon Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal, finding in an August 2017 ruling that his claims had no basis.

Cornell took his case to the Supreme Court of Canada in March 2018, alleging that the Court of Appeal erred in finding that his claim that the jury selection process was “racially flawed” was baseless. The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed Cornell’s application June 7.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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