Steven and Marlene Truscott respond to Attorney General's announcement of compensation

    GUELPH, ON, July 7 /CNW/ - Steven and Marlene Truscott responded to
Attorney General Chris Bentley's announcement of compensation with the
following statement:
    "This is a bittersweet moment for us. When we began this journey more
than a decade ago, we thought only of exonerating Steven - the possibility of
compensation never entered our minds. Although we are grateful for the freedom
and stability this award will provide, we are also painfully aware that no
amount of money could ever truly compensate Steven for the terror of being
sentenced to hang at the age of 14, the loss of his youth, or the stigma of
living for almost 50 years as a convicted murderer.
    "We have had an opportunity to read Justice Robins' report, and are very
pleased with his findings and their acceptance by the government. This is the
final and long-awaited step in recognizing Steve's innocence. We are
especially appreciative of Justice Robins' finding that:

        It was the state, through the operation of the criminal justice
        system, that inflicted the harm on Mr. Truscott. We are all
        dependent upon the proper functioning of the criminal justice
        system and we must all share the burden of its errors. Through
        no fault of his own, Mr. Truscott suffered as a result of one
        of those errors. His loss should be borne by the community as
        a whole, and not by Mr. Truscott alone. The state has a moral
        obligation - an obligation that springs from a sense of justice
        and equity - to provide some redress to Mr. Truscott. The
        public's interest in the proper administration of justice - and,
        indeed, the public's conscience - demand that a payment be made.

    "We wish to thank Justice Robins for his recommendations, Attorney
General Chris Bentley for accepting and acting on them so promptly, and Guelph
MPP Liz Sandals for her support both within and outside the legislature. We
are grateful to the lawyers who represented us in this final phase and made
submissions on our behalf to Justice Robins: Hersh Wolch, Marlys Edwardh,
Adriel Weaver, and Jenny Friedland. We also thank the AIDWYC lawyers who
represented Steven on the application to the Minister of Justice and the
reference to the Court of Appeal: James Lockyer, Philip Campbell, Marlys
Edwardh, Hersh Wolch, and Jenny Friedland. All of our lawyers brought great
commitment and creativity to a series of very difficult tasks, and we know we
would not be here today without each of their efforts. The staff at AIDWYC,
especially Win Wahrer, were always present behind the scenes, and while their
work was perhaps less visible, it was no less important. We would also like to
take this opportunity to thank former Justice Minister Irwin Cotler for his
decision to refer the case to the Court of Appeal, without which none of this
would be possible.
    "On a more personal note, we wish to thank our children, Lesley, Ryan and
Devon, for their unwavering support. They stood by us when we made the
difficult decision to re-open the case, and have continued to do so despite
the stress and loss of privacy that have resulted. We also wish to thank the
thousands of Canadians - and individuals around the world - who have expressed
their support over the years. Your care and kindness have sustained us through
some very difficult times, and we are thrilled to be sharing this good news
with you today.
    "We know that many of you will be eager to convey your congratulations,
but right now we need some quiet time to absorb this news and to reflect with
our friends and family on everything we've been through. We will not be giving
any interviews or further statements to the media at this time. We have always
appreciated your respect for our privacy, and trust it will continue. We would
ask that any further inquiries be directed to our lawyers, Marlys Edwardh
(416-964-9664) and Hersh Wolch (403-630-7576).
    "With Justice Robins' report and its acceptance by the government, we
have finally achieved a degree of closure - something we have sought for many
years. We hope now to go on to live the rest of our lives in peace and

For further information:

For further information: Marlys Edwardh (416) 964-9664 and Hersh Wolch
(403) 630-7576

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