Statement by the Honourable Harry S. LaForme and the Honourable Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré regarding the submission of their report toward the creation of an independent Criminal Case Review Commission
The Honourable Harry S. LaForme and the Honourable Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré today made the following statement upon the submission of their report to the Minister of Justice with recommendations on the creation of an independent Criminal Case Review Commission:
In his Zippo lighter he sees the killer’s face
Maybe it’s someone standing in a killer’s place
Twenty years for nothing, well, that’s nothing new
Besides, no one’s interested in something you didn’t do – Wheat Kings, The Tragically Hip
“David Milgaard was released from prison in April, 1992, six months before The Tragically Hip released its album Fully Completely which included Wheat Kings, and almost 23 years after Mr. Milgaard went to prison for a crime he did not commit.
In March of this year, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced that he had appointed us to lead public-facing consultations on the creation of an independent Criminal Cases Review Commission.
We are pleased to announce that, after hearing from over 200 participants in 45 roundtables, and receiving 45 written submissions, we have completed those consultations and delivered our report to the Minister.
We began the consultations in June with a group of wrongfully convicted individuals, including Mr. Milgaard, because of the importance of hearing about their first-hand experiences with the Canadian criminal justice system. We were profoundly saddened by what they told us. We were also extremely moved by their generosity in sharing with us, and their passion in ensuring that what happened to them does not happen to others. We are deeply grateful to each of them for their contributions, and we believe this country owes them a debt of gratitude.
We are also grateful to all those who participated in these consultations, from Canada and around the globe.
Finally, we wish to thank Minister David Lametti and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for having the courage to take this much-needed first step in ensuring these horrific miscarriages of justice are prevented or, when necessary, corrected. Canada can and must do better. As Innocence Canada told us repeatedly “it can happen to anyone”.”
SOURCE Criminal Convictions Review Consultations
For further information: media may contact: Media Relations, Department of Justice Canada, 613-957-4207, [email protected]