Canadian Cleared in 1959 Murder
Posted Aug 29, 2007 5:56 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
Concluding a case that has fascinated Canadians for decades, an Ontario appeals court yesterday acquitted Steven Truscott of a 48-year-old crime that originally resulted in a death sentence for him as a teenager.
Sentenced at age 14 in 1959 to death by hanging for the rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl earlier that year, Truscott soon had his sentence commuted to life and he was released from prison after 10 years, reports the Toronto Globe and Mail.
However, the conviction left him to live his life under a cloud (as well as an assumed name). So, at the turn of the century, he emerged from hiding and began to fight to overturn the conviction, according to a newspaper timeline of the case.
Although he has succeeded—and is proclaiming victory and may seek compensation from the government—Truscott is reportedly disappointed that the 300-page ruling by the Ontario Court of Appeal didn't conclude that he was factually innocent. And he is also dubious about the regret expressed to reporters yesterday by Ontario Attorney-General Michael Bryant.
"I know he apologized on behalf of the government, but I don't really feel that his apology was sincere," says Truscott. "For the past 4½ years, they had the same evidence as the judges had, and they chose to fight us every step of the way."