Truscott calls decision ‘a dream come true’
Adrian Wyld/canadian press
Steven Truscott may take a holiday, his first time abroad. Saddled with a murder conviction for nearly 50 years, he hasn’t been permitted to cross the border. Hawaii, he says, sounds appealing.
“I think probably the first thing is, I’ll take a little holiday from the legal system,” the Guelph millwright and father of three said yesterday, revealing a humorous side of his personality after the Ontario Court of Appeal lifted the “burden” imposed when he was convicted and sentenced to hang for murder of 12-year-old Lynne Harper in 1959. Calling it a “miscarriage of justice,” the court quashed his conviction and acquitted Truscott.
While ordering a new trial was an option, the passage of so many years makes that a “practical impossibility” and it would amount to an injustice for Truscott and his family, the court said.
“The appellant in this case served ten years in the penitentiary and has lived his entire adult life in the shadow of a conviction that we have concluded must be quashed,” said the unanimous five-judge panel.
Truscott called it “a dream come true.” Truscott was convicted at 14 and lived for years under an assumed name.
Moments after the judgment, Attorney-General Michael Bryant appeared to apologize to Truscott and announce the Ontario government has retained a former judge of the Ontario Court of Appeal to advise on compensation. “For that miscarriage of justice, on behalf of the government, I am truly sorry,” Bryant said.