New Democrats demand justice for John Moore: Wrongly convicted aboriginal man has been trying to clear name for 30 years
from CanadaViews.CA, November 25, 2010.
OTTAWA – Today marks the culmination of over two decades of hard work and perseverance by John Moore, an aboriginal Canadian wrongly convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. Moore, an Ojibway man, was convicted of 2nd degree murder in 1978 under s. 21(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada – a law that was later ruled unconstitutional in the late 1980s in R. v. Vaillancourt. Under similar circumstances today, no one in Moore’s position would be charged with a crime, let alone convicted.
Moore wants his name cleared so that he can begin to move on with his life following this 30 year ordeal. “It is my hope that with the attention my case has received today that my name is finally cleared,” said Moore. “I want to begin my life, and until this charge is lifted, I am still a prisoner.”
Since his release from prison in 1989, Moore has continued to bear the burden and stigma of his conviction. He must regularly report to a parole officer and must ask permission if he wishes to leave the city of Sudbury, impeding his freedom of movement and his capacity to find meaningful work while ultimately hindering his ability to fully reintegrate into society.
Moore has been actively involved in struggles for social justice in Sudbury, earning an overwhelmingly strong base of support within the community. “I know John personally; he has been an active and positive member of the Sudbury community for many years. The city has, and continues to, stand solemnly in support of John’s cause” said Glenn Thibeault (Sudbury).
In response to the suggestion that Mr. Moore’s trials were tainted with systemic racism, New Democrat Justice critic Joe Comartin (Windsor—Tecumseh) responded “This is just another example of the biased nature of Canada`s criminal justice system. We have seen cases like this over and over. It begs the question about whether Moore would have been treated as harshly by the criminal justice system if he were a white-collar Caucasian.”
Earlier this morning, over a thousand petitions were tabled in the House of Commons by various members of the New Democrat caucus calling on Justice Minister Rob Nicholson to take action to clear Moore’s name. Moore was accompanied by supporters from Justice and Freedom for John Moore, a committee composed of supporters from across Ontario.