Stephen Truscott, Justice Finally!
Virtually all my adult life I have been aware of the Stephen Truscott case, perhaps the first public issue I ever took a personal interest in.) As a 14 year old boy in 1959 he was rushed to judgement and convicted of raping and killing a classmate Lynne Harper. He was to be hanged! Later this was reduced to life imprisonment. He spent 10 years in jail before being paroled. He married and lived under another name. Only when his children were teenagers did he tell them of his real identity. He has spent the rest of his life trying to clear his name in spite of setbacks (including a court of appeal decision upholding his conviction.)CBC News In Depth: Steven Truscott
Yesterday he got "justice". The Court of Appeal of Ontario overturned his conviction and aquitted him. Of course, this is a most modest moral victory coming so late after a lifetime of damage had been done.
Stephen Truscott has proved himself to be a tenacious defender of the truth he knew. He is a quiet, modest unassuming man, who grew up in the harsh reality of an adult prison. He is a remarkable survivor.
Some of the credit for Canada doing away with the Death Penalty can go to the public outrage at the Truscott case and the idea of a child being hanged.
He does us all proud for only when individuals heroically fight for truth and justice are all our rights and right to justice defended.
It is time for the government to give him a heartfelt apology for wrongfully proseciting him and in the last several years virtually persecuting him as more facts of the case came out that ran counter to the evidence so many years ago.
The fact is, like in so many of the wrongful convictions in Canada, his case was a case of poor police work, a rush to judgement in an atmosphere of alarm and tunnel vision in looking at evidence.
What is a lifetime and a childhood lived in the shadow of the gallows and in an institution for criminals , worth??? It will be the governments responsibility to compensate him. Canadians should insist they do so without quibbling over the amount.
It must be a great relief to the Truscotts to no longer have to live under this shadow of a wrongful conviction. They have lived a quiet hardworking responsible life in Central Ontario, with dignity. Money will not change this. They do themselves and the rest of us proud.
I hope the life of the Truscotts go on in peace and nobility for we all know now of the innocence of Stephen Truscott of such a dreadful crime so many years ago.
Steven Truscott - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Harpers, the other family ruined by the Truscott case. globeandmail.com: Lynne Harper's family speaks out on Truscott