RIP Junior Marshall

Donald Marshall Junior, an icon of the corruption and shame that attaches to the Nova Scotia legal system, passed away Thursday morning from complications related to a double lung transplant undertaken six years ago.

At the age of 17, Junior was wrongfully convicted of murdering Sandy Seale and spent 11 years in prison before being released and eventually acquitted. Roy Ebsary – a crazy old bastard with a knife fetish – was later convicted for the crime, and a Royal Commission concluded that “institutional racism” played a significant part in Marshall being sent down. While that was certainly true, it paid scant attention to the misfeasance, malfeasance and non-feasance of the police, who suborned perjury and threatened witnesses into pointing the finger at Junior, the prosecutors, and the cheap, win-at-all-costs methods employed by the Nova Scotia Prosecution Service. Standard Operating Procedure.

Years later, Junior was back before the Supreme Court of Canada again, this time for insisting that, as a Mikmaq Indian, he held treaty rights that permitted him to fish out of season. He won again.

Junior Marshall, for all the shit that was inflicted on him for no good reason; for all he suffered and was made to bear; for the “celebrity” he gained and never wanted, carried himself with a surprising degree of dignity and goodwill. I used to see him around the Seahorse Tavern a fair bit back in the day. We would shoot some pool, drink a few beers, have some laughs. He was a decent enough fellow who never wanted to be an icon, but whom fate just would not leave be.

It can be said, without exaggeration or hyperbole, that Junior Marshall did more for truth and justice in Nova Scotia than the entire slate of NSSC Justices and all the Deans of Dalhousie Law School combined.

Resquiat in Pace, my friend.

donald marshall jr.

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