Justice for Cindy Gladue
Asian Women for Equality appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in the case Bradley David Barton v. Her Majesty the Queen. The hearing took place scheduled to be heard Thursday, October 11, 2018.
Barton was found not guilty of manslaughter and murder in the 2011 death of Cindy Gladue, an Indigenous woman. The feminist group will contribute to the SCC’s understanding of the impact of racist and sexist stereotypes used by men to defend themselves from charges of violence against women.
Cindy Gladue was a 36-year old Indigenous woman. She was prostituted from a hotel bar in Edmonton, Alberta. Barton admitted to doing extreme violence to her over the course of 2 nights in June 2011 when he paid another man to procure Cindy Gladue. She was found dead in the bathtub of his hotel room after bleeding to death from injuries Barton caused by performing, what he called, “rough sex” on her.
“The defence lawyer repeatedly described Cindy as a sex worker and made sure the court knew she was a native woman. This tactic devalued Cindy and framed her as ‘less than’ by conjuring up racist and sexist stereotypes about women who are Indigenous and also about prostituted women. This meant that the trial could never be fair to Cindy or to any woman in her situation,” says Nayoung Kim, a member of Asian Women for Equality.
Barton is fighting the Alberta Court of Appeal’s decision to send his case for a retrial. The SCC decision may require a new trial or allow the acquittal to stand.
Asian Women for Equality made our submissions to the Supreme Court of Canada as a member of the Women's Equality and Liberty Coalition.
Watch the video of our presentation by Professor Janine Benedet at 2:55 mark