Monday, June 19, 2006

The Problem with Justice (of the Human Kind)

The only brief moment in my life I have ever considered becoming a lawyer was in 11th grade law class. I didn't want to prosecute anybody, and I wasn't really all that interested in defending a bunch of criminals either. All I wanted was to see Steven Truscott exonerated. And now, it actually might happen.

I've been a little obsessed with his case since I first read about it. Three books, and many documentaries and articles later, he's become my national hero. For a 14-year-old to be sentenced to be hanged "until you are dead" and stripped of an adolescence due to a community's blind need for instant justice is abhorrent. The fact that he has grown up to be a hard-working family man who harbors no bitterness is miraculous.

Let the man have his name cleared. Drop the pride, Canada, and admit that you failed a young boy 47 years ago. And then give him the Order of Canada for never turning his back on the country that wounded him, and for choosing to live a full life decades after you sentenced him to die.

(And ridiculous change of subject: Go Edmonton!)

3 comments:

michael lewis said...

I too learned of Truscott from that same law class!!!

(Though I took it about 10 years before you did.)

Was your teacher that same bald guy?

nadine said...

Mr. Schleihauf? Yeah. Best class ever. We reenacted a court scene, and I got to be the murderer. He bragged to other classes that I was a fabulous killer. I was very, very proud.

michael lewis said...

That was the teacher I had!!!

He's got to be really old!