Tuesday, August 28, 2007

"A miscarriage of justice"

Today the Ontario Court of Appeal acquitted Stephen Truscott of the rape and murder of Lynn Harper in 1959.

Stephen Truscott was sentenced to hang to his death for that crime.

He was 14 years old.

After 4 months on death row, his sentence was commuted to life in prison. He was released in 1969, after serving a ten-year sentence for a crime he didn't commit.

In their unanimous decision, Justices called the Truscott conviction - which had been in doubt from early on - "a miscarriage of justice", and said the only appropriate remedy was an acquittal.

If anyone wants evidence that the death penalty is evil and inexcusable, Stephen Truscott - and the children and grandchildren he has raised in his quiet life as a model citizen after having his youth stolen - are living proof of it.




Blogger Brent McKee said...

I remember the Truscott case as a cause celebre in my childhood and youth. The evidence against him was flimsy in the extreme but the nature of the crime made it imperative to try and punish someone. In fact Truscott's age alone was a major impetus in the efforts to end capital punishment in Canada (and yet another reason why we need to be vigilant about the current government).

Steven Truscott's final exoneration is (fortunately) living breathing proof of my main reason for opposing the death penalty, namely that the state can get it wrong and how can you repay a man who has been wrongly executed for that mistake? And even if you execute 10,000 guilty men it doesn't mitigate making one mistake.

4:37 p.m.  

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