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Harris, Michael.

Toronto, Macmillan, c1986. 405 pp. Cloth.$24.9S, ISBN 0-7715-9690-1. CIP

Reviewed by Ruth Rausa

Volume 15 Number 1
1987 January

Donald Marshall, a young Micmac Indian, was arrested in 1971 for the murder of a black youth in Sydney's Went-worth Park. Despite Marshall's protests of innocence and the mounting evidence that the police had arrested the wrong man. Marshall was sentenced to life in prison.

Michael Harris, who covered the story of Marshall's exoneration for the Globe and Mail, bases his work on a combination of personal interviews and official documents, including court transcripts, police reports, and prison records. The author's purpose in writing this work was to expose "how an innocent man could be given a life sentence for a crime he did not commit." Harris takes us from Marshall's life prior to the murder through his arrest and trial to the eleven harrowing years spent at Dorchester and Springhill penitentiaries. The story looks as though it will end happily with Marshall finally proving his innocence, in spite of the fact that the Supreme Court "went beyond their decision to acquit Marshall and blamed him for the course that justice had taken in 1971."

Justice Denied is a horrifying story; the book is difficult to put down. This reader found herself rooting for the good guy (Marshall) and agonizing with him as he is thwarted at every turn. The only minor criticism with the work concerns the lack of pictures of the main characters. As a reader, 1 want to see just what Roy Ebsary, the real killer of Sandy Seale, looks like, or even Donald Marshall, for that matter. It is a book that will no doubt be in demand at public libraries.

Ruth Rausa, Toronto, Ont.
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