Should police be permitted to impersonate religious figures to elicit confessions from suspects and their relatives? In a social democracy like ours, one that protects the right to a relationship with a religious advisor free from police interference, the answer should be obvious: No. The appeal in question concerns the conviction of Jamaican-Canadians Evol Robinson, Jahmar Welsh and Ruben Pinnock in a Brampton court for the 2004 murder of Youhan Oraha. In pursuing the investigation for this case, a Brampton Ontario police officer of Caribbean origin impersonated a religious priest of the Caribbean Obeah faith in order to solicit confessions from the men's family members.
Professor of Anthropology and International and Area Studies at Yale University
Kamari Maxine Clarke is a Professor of Anthropology and International Area Studies at Yale University and a Public Voices Fellow at The Op-Ed Project. She is the author of Mapping Yoruba Networks: Power and Agency in the Making of Transnational Networks.
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