Steven Murray Truscott Case

Essay by stonerchildHigh School, 12th gradeA, January 2007

download word file, 2 pages 4.0

He was sentenced to death at age 14 for the murder of a schoolmate. His case was one of the most controversial and famous cases in Canadian history. 47 years later, Steven Truscott still maintains his innocence.

On June 9th, 1959, Steven Truscott gave a ride to his 12 year old classmate Lynne Harper a ride on his bicycle to a highway near an air force base in Clinton, Ontario. Two days later, searchers found Harper's body among trees near the town. She had been raped and strangled, and Truscott was the last known person to have seen her alive.

Truscott spent four months in prision awaiting his death when his sentence was changed to life in prison. In 1966 the book The Trial of Steven Truscott was published by Isabel LeBourdais. The book called the 1959 justice system into question and argued that the court had made an error and Truscott was innocent.

This led to Lester Pearson's government to order a Supreme court review. Canada's top court reviewed the case to decide whether or not Truscott should be allowed a new trial. The verdict was 8-1 to keep the verdict. Truscott was then paroled in 1969 and began living under a different name in Ontario. However, in 2000, on CBC's The Fifth Estate documentary Truscott publicly declared his innocence.

The documentary brought up some new evidence and out together a case that police may have laid charges too quickly and ignored other potential suspects. Truscott states he dropped Harper off at a highway, where she got into a strange car as he rode away. He told police she stated that she and her parents got into a fight and she was planning to hitch hike somewhere. However, the police maintain their theory that Truscott murdered Harper before...