: Truscott Acquitted, But Not Exonerated


SINC
Aug 28th, 2007, 12:14 PM
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 28, 2007 | 11:10 AM ET
CBC News

The Ontario Court of Appeal has acquitted Steven Truscott of murder in the death of Lynne Harper, saying the conviction was a miscarriage of justice, but the five-judge panel did not proclaim him innocent.
In a ruling Tuesday, the judges unanimously decided to*quash the murder conviction, stemming from the rape and strangulation of*the 12-year-old girl near a town in southwestern*Ontario 48 years ago.
"The court unanimously holds that the conviction of Mr. Truscott was a miscarriage of justice and must be quashed. The court further holds that the appropriate remedy in this case is to enter an acquittal.
"The court thus orders that Mr. Truscott should stand acquitted of the murder of Lynne Harper," the court*ruled.
Truscott*was sentenced to hang in 1959 at the age of 14 for*Harper's murder*in Clinton, Ont., becoming Canada's youngest death-row inmate after one of the*most famous trials in Canadian history.

More to come.

MACSPECTRUM
Aug 28th, 2007, 02:19 PM
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 28, 2007 | 11:10 AM ET
CBC News

The Ontario Court of Appeal has acquitted Steven Truscott of murder in the death of Lynne Harper, saying the conviction was a miscarriage of justice, but the five-judge panel did not proclaim him innocent.
In a ruling Tuesday, the judges unanimously decided to*quash the murder conviction, stemming from the rape and strangulation of*the 12-year-old girl near a town in southwestern*Ontario 48 years ago.
"The court unanimously holds that the conviction of Mr. Truscott was a miscarriage of justice and must be quashed. The court further holds that the appropriate remedy in this case is to enter an acquittal.
"The court thus orders that Mr. Truscott should stand acquitted of the murder of Lynne Harper," the court*ruled.
Truscott*was sentenced to hang in 1959 at the age of 14 for*Harper's murder*in Clinton, Ont., becoming Canada's youngest death-row inmate after one of the*most famous trials in Canadian history.

More to come.

another good reason to not have the death penalty
dead men don't file appeals

ComputerIdiot
Aug 28th, 2007, 06:50 PM
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 28, 2007 | 11:10 AM ET
CBC News

The Ontario Court of Appeal has acquitted Steven Truscott of murder in the death of Lynne Harper, saying the conviction was a miscarriage of justice, but the five-judge panel did not proclaim him innocent.

*snip*



Unfortunately, that may be the best he can hope for, considering the amount of time that's gone by.

martman
Aug 28th, 2007, 08:50 PM
Unfortunately, that may be the best he can hope for, considering the amount of time that's gone by.

Agreed. If I met him I would consider him innocent.

SINC
Aug 28th, 2007, 08:58 PM
Agreed. If I met him I would consider him innocent.

That's odd. I've never met him and always considered him innocent. What difference does meeting him make?

martman
Aug 28th, 2007, 09:05 PM
That's odd. I've never met him and always considered him innocent. What difference does meeting him make?

It doesn't. You know what I mean SINC.

SINC
Aug 28th, 2007, 09:15 PM
It doesn't. You know what I mean SINC.

Sorry, no, I don't know what you mean.

"If" I met him?

Had you said, "I've never met him but" I would understand, but "if" I met him. I have no idea what you are insinuating. It says to me that only if you met him would he be innocent. :confused:

ArtistSeries
Aug 29th, 2007, 12:47 AM
another good reason to not have the death penalty
dead men don't file appeals
Or elected judges - part of the reason he was "convicted" was mob mentality justice.

MACSPECTRUM
Aug 29th, 2007, 12:56 AM
Or elected judges - part of the reason he was "convicted" was mob mentality justice.

another case of a poor person without good legal representation being practically rail roaded into a conviction

yeah, elected judges, just like the elected, then AB minister, Stockwell "Doris" Day was found guilty in a civil lawsuit (in which Doris opened his big yap and said something he shouldn't have) and the taxpayers of AB footed the bill, and yet nobody (cons nor ABers) complains and Doris didn't pay back the money



The Ontario Court of Appeal has acquitted Steven Truscott of murder in the death of Lynne Harper, saying the conviction was a miscarriage of justice, but the five-judge panel did not proclaim him innocent.


on CTV news, Lloyd Robertson reported that the judges said finding Truscott innocent wasn't part of their mandate and that only a new trial by jury could do so.

HowEver
Aug 29th, 2007, 01:26 AM
Declaring Truscott "innocent" would have gone far beyond the scope of the process which resulted in today's decision.

He wasn't being tried again. His conviction was overturned as he was acquitted. Acquittals on appeal never declare innocence, since they do not involve re-trying the charges.

That said, with the conviction negated, Truscott is as "innocent" of the sexual assault and murder as anyone else is (except the actual perpetrator). And since he won't have to endure another trial, the only issue now might be that he has to endure references to this lack of declared innocence. Of course he's innocent.

Wolfshead
Aug 29th, 2007, 12:16 PM
I think the problem is that, whatever it means in legal terms, the word "acquittal" seems to imply that he "got off" - at least in the minds of some people. To use the word "innocent" whether it's legally correct or not, would sound more convincing. Surely the word would not be inappropriate since we are all "presumed innocent until proven guilty" in the eyes of the law. Since the Crown was not able to prove him guilty, then he must be innocent.

BigDL
Aug 29th, 2007, 04:17 PM
The legal system protects itself. Police, prosecution and courts have each others backs.

Whether you are at the original trial or at appeal you are never found "innocent." Not guilty or acquittal means you "got off with it" for many.

In the mind of many citizens you would never be in court facing a charge if you weren't guilty.

"You are coming to a sad realisation cancel or allow."
;)

HowEver
Aug 30th, 2007, 10:54 AM
Innocent until proven guilty is more like it.

But then once found guilty...

Truscotts still have 'a dangling loose end', says York law professor

Of all the issues confronting the Ontario Court of Appeal in Steven Truscott's case, the most difficult may be whether to issue a declaration of his innocence, wrote the Toronto Star Aug. 28, before the court issued its acquittal, without such a declaration, later in the day.

Truscott, 62, wants nothing less from today's landmark ruling, said the Star. But even if the panel of five judges believes he is factually innocent of Lynne Harper's 1959 murder, it would be extremely unusual for a court to make such a finding, particularly in a case so fiercely contested by the Crown, says Alan Young, a professor at York's Osgoode Hall Law School.

"It's a reasonable request," said Young. "An acquittal is close to complete vindication, but without that statement that an acquittal is being entered on the basis of innocence and not lack of proof, they (the Truscotts) still have a kind of dangling loose end and they want the court to say something more than 'something went wrong at the trial'."

In cases of long-standing wrongful convictions, an appeal court would be more inclined to set aside the conviction and enter a stay-of-proceedings because of the difficulties in conducting a new trial so many years after a crime has taken place, he said. The court's options include upholding the conviction, setting aside the conviction and acquitting Truscott, ordering a new trial or staying the proceedings. None of the last three are vindications, Young said. "We actually don't have anything of that nature. Even a pardon isn't a vindication. You can be pardoned, with the passage of time, because of good behaviour."

Wolfshead
Aug 30th, 2007, 12:20 PM
Surely you cannot be pardoned for something you didn't do. It's a bit of a contradiction in terms, isn't it?

EvanPitts
Aug 30th, 2007, 02:39 PM
I always thought this case stunk like rotten fish in Denmark (on a hot summer day). I wonder who they are really protecting? Who was driving the big Chrysler that was seen leaving the murder scene? Who were they and why were they so worthy of protection that they pinned the murder on a young child? Why was this big Chrylser never found or inspected for evidence by the authorities? And why was there so much malfeasance in the prosecution of the case? It is so very interesting to wonder what sadistic old man got away with this crime all the way to the grave. Or is it that Truscott at his very youthful age, could actually drive a big Chrysler and commit such a crime against his good friend? Hmmm...

Why is it that even the courts and boards of inquiry can not view all of the documentary evidence? Why are their so many documents that are either "secret" or "missing"? Where is the evidence of damnation? And why is it now that these same courts can not, for whatever reason, just say that he is innocent of the crimes he was accused of, and that those who presided in the past made a number of fatal mistakes in the annals of justice?

But then again, Guy Paul Morin was sent to jail because he had come home after work, laid down on his couch and fell asleep watching TV and didn't hear a knock at the door when they were forming a search party. And Donald Marshall went to jail because he was an Indian, despite the fact that the putrescent old man that committed the murder spent years bragging in bars about it, and how proud he was when "a squaw" went to jail for it. It may be "legal" but it is certainly not justice; and it is up to the people, you and I, to make sure that "the system" strives towards perfection in the administration of justice. We are all fools because of this; and every innocent person in jail, and every criminal on the street is proof of this!

ComputerIdiot
Aug 30th, 2007, 07:21 PM
I always thought this case stunk like rotten fish in Denmark (on a hot summer day). I wonder who they are really protecting? Who was driving the big Chrysler that was seen leaving the murder scene? Who were they and why were they so worthy of protection that they pinned the murder on a young child? *snip*

I wouldn't call a 14-year-old "a young child." That said, it was a violent, horrific crime that sparked terror in the surrounding communities. Frightened parents wanted *someone* to pay, and unfortunately, since Truscott was the last person to admit seeing Lynne alive, public hysteria immediately determined him to be the guilty party.

The front-page story in Today's Globe and Mail carries an interview with Lynne's father. It's a very sad story. He feels betrayed by the judicial system ... he's still positive Truscott killed his daughter. He doesn't give any reasons for his belief (or perhaps the paper didn't print them), so there's no way of telling whether he's got any reasonable grounds at all, or whether he just latched onto the original guilty verdict for what comfort it could give him and now can't bear to let go of it.

I remember hearing that there was a known sex offender in a nearby small community at the time of Lynne's death. If that's true, I can't imagine why he doesn't appear to be have questioned in connection with the murder.