Sarah Harland-Logan Introduction InSteven Truscott was only fourteen years old when he was charged with the murder of his classmate Lynne Harper. After his wrongful conviction, Steven spent nearly 50 years seeking justice before he was acquitted by the Ontario Court of Appeal in Later that evening, her father reported her missing.
A fourteen-year-old boy had been sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a schoolmate. But that was about to change. But a deeper explanation lies within the politics of the death penalty in Cold War Canada.
Steven truscott came to office proud of his reputation as a criminal defence lawyer. None of the homicide suspects he represented was accused of committing a sexual murder. However, he did defend one man, executed for murder, whom he believed was innocent.
This may have contributed to his inclination to spare Truscott the death penalty, because when news broke that the teenager faced execution, Diefenbaker did not approach the case as a miscarriage of justice.
That means that since Canada became a nation, elected politicians who served in the federal cabinet effectively determined the fate of people condemned to death. The s was the first decade in which ministers exercised discretion over the death penalty with public opinion in mind.
But by andpolls showed that only half of Canadians believed the death penalty was the appropriate punishment for murder. The Conservative cabinet likely felt confident that the majority of Canadians would approve of their decision, made on Jan.
The commutation came with the usual commuted sentence: For most Canadians, the proceedings probably confirmed that their criminal justice system worked. The investigation of a murder had produced a suspect who was properly indicted and tried before a jury.
He was granted the benefit of legal representation. The verdict confirmed his guilt. And the commutation of his sentence showed that Canadian justice was tempered with mercy.
Why did Canadian attitudes about capital punishment change? In the late s, the abuse of individual rights in the Soviet Union and its satellites was big news and had captured the attention of Canadiansespecially miscarriages of justice.
Totalitarian states conducted show trials in which the verdict was a foregone conclusion. The bill included the right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence. Freedom of the press Another principle enshrined in the Bill of Rights, the freedom of the press, led to a shift in public opinion.
Truscott may have faded from public consciousness if journalist Isabel Le Bourdais had not published her book on his case in InTruscott received substantial compensation a year after the Ontario Court of Appeal acquitted him of the charge of murder.
Yet it did not declare him innocent.Author: Sarah Harland-Logan Introduction. In , Steven Truscott was only fourteen years old when he was charged with the murder of his classmate Lynne Harper.
After his wrongful conviction, Steven spent nearly 50 years seeking justice before he was acquitted by the Ontario Court of Appeal in Fifty-nine years ago, Steven Truscott, wrongfully convicted for the murder of a schoolmate, was sentenced to hang. He was only 14 years old.
Why did it take so long for justice to catch up with him? Police charged year-old Steven Truscott three days after finding his schoolmate's body.
In , he was sentenced to be hanged at age 14 for a schoolmate's murder, becoming Canada's youngest. View the profiles of professionals named Steven Truscott on LinkedIn.
There are 33 professionals named Steven Truscott, who use LinkedIn to exchange information, ideas, and opportunities. Steven Truscott: Decades of Injustice [Nate Hendley] on initiativeblog.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
Imagine being a 14 year-old boy who takes a classmate on a bike ride one spring evening. In the days to follow5/5(1). At the age of 14, Steven Truscott was wrongly convicted of killing his year-old schoolmate Lynne Harper. Five decades later he was exonerated.
Steven Murray Truscott was a popular, athletic teenager who lived with his parents in the southwestern Ontario town of Clinton.
In , at the age of.