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Message to Wilson-Raybould still applicable today | David Milgaard

Tuesday, October 01, 2019 @ 1:39 PM | By David Milgaard

David Milgaard %>
David Milgaard
Two years ago, I wrote the following letter to the-then Minister of Justice and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould.

This year, in recognition of Wrongful Conviction Day, Oct. 2, I have decided to publicize the letter because my concern is still as strong and justice has still yet to be served for Glen Assoun of Nova Scotia who was released in March 2019 after serving 17 years for a crime that he did not commit.

Here is my letter to Wilson-Raybould:

I am writing this letter hoping you can see how important you are in the lives of the wrongly convicted of Canada.

Simply said, you can free them from the nightmare they live in while they wait for someone to review their evidence showing that they have not been responsible for doing the wrong they have been convicted of doing.

It is wrong to have people wait years while their appeals are in process. This is not justice, it is just wrong.

An independent board of review could quickly and efficiently take these people’s cases and resolve them freeing Canada’s innocent from her prisons right now.

As someone who was convicted at 17 and spent nearly 23 years inside prison for a crime I did not do, I know how terrible it is to be wrongfully convicted. I know how horrible it is to live inside prison waiting through years and years of appeals.

Please consider how you would feel if this happened to you? How would you feel if someone you loved was wrongly convicted? Would you not want to clear their name as soon as possible?

A wrongful conviction not only devastates the person convicted but their family as well leaving them stigmatized by society and often the brink of financial ruin. Can you imagine anyone saying there is justice in keeping your case away from people willing to determine the truth for years and years?

It was not until the Canadian people stood up for me and my family that things began to change. In the end it was the Canadian people not the Canadian criminal justice system that pressured the government into doing what was right. This helped to set me free.

We must have an independent board of inquiry at work now to review the many cases that show evidence of a wrongful conviction.

No criteria other than merit of justice is what these men, women and in some cases children need today as you read my words.

Please help me help them get their freedom they deserve as soon as we possibly can.

David Milgaard spent 23 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. He lives in Alberta and advocates on behalf of the wrongfully convicted.

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