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.
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.
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