Today we take a deep look into the story behind the death of Brenda Way and the likely wrongful conviction of Glen Assoun, who spent 16 years in prison for her murder.
Why were the Halifax police so eager to close this case? Why did the murder get so little media attention at the time? If Assoun is eventually exonerated, what does that say about our police force and Nova Scotia’s justice system?
This is the companion audio to Part One of Dead Wrong, the Halifax Examiner’s first major investigative story.
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In your concluding conversation about marginalized groups of people, the police, and “old attitudes,” I couldn’t help thinking about the published 1989 findings of the Royal Commission on the Donald Marshall Jr Prosecution. The Summary of Findings [Pg 22] are appalling, shocking, and massively comprehensive in scope, with the worst indictment and condemnation, in my opinion, of the professional justice system, from Crown Prosecutors to judges – those highly educated in the law and its historic, honourable ideals and purpose. The report was published twenty-seven years ago. I’m less generous than you in believing little has fundamentally, systemically changed while agreeing police PR is better. Public scepticism and informed media scrutiny and analysis – like your “Dead Wrong” piece – are vital and invaluable to that process, and hopefully in future, will happen as justice unfolds rather than after the fact.
The complete Donald Marshall Commission report pdf is only 44 pages and is very succinct and readable. https://www.novascotia.ca/just/marshall_inquiry/_docs/Royal%20Commission%20on%20the%20Donald%20Marshall%20Jr%20Prosecution_findings.pdf