This book provides a critical legal and political analysis of Louis Riel’s sensational 1885 trial for high treason, and in doing so arrives at some unique and startling conclusions. Riel, the founder of Manitoba, was put on trial for his involvement in the North-West Uprising and executed under a 534 year old English Statute. Ever since this cause celebre Riel has either been revered as a martyred hero or reviled as a murderous traitor. This book investigates, evaluates and provides information from a legal and political point of view with respect to:
• selection of the trial site and jury; legal procedures, testimony of witnesses;
• Crown and defence counsel, the stipendiary magistrate and their performances;
• Addresses of counsel and Riel and magistrate’s charge to the jury;
• Judicial and political improprieties at the highest levels;
• The charges under an archaic law; other statues and precedents;
• Mistreatment of Riel by his own lawyers; their deficiencies; conflict of interest;
• Failure of Riel to receive a full defense to which he was legally entitled;
• John A. MacDonald’s blatant manipulation of a medical commission;
• Rejection of the jury’s unanimous recommendation of mercy for Riel.
The Trial of Louis Riel, Justice and Mercy Denied portrays the political, judicial and legal misdeeds which resulted in the unmerciful and unjust execution of Louis Riel. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in political intrigue and miscarriage of justice.
Author: George R.D. Goulet