Green Party of Canada supports aboriginal man’s plea for pardon

The Green Party of Canada is calling on the Honourable Robert Nicholson, Minister of Justice to issue a pardon for the unjust second degree murder conviction of John C. Moore.

“John is ultimately seeking full exoneration.  At the very least he deserves a full review of his conviction by the federal Justice Department.  He has endured 10 years of incarceration and a lifetime on parole even though the law he was convicted under was ruled unconstitutional.  Yet, his requests for review to successive Federal Ministers of Justice have fallen on deaf ears,” said Lorraine Rekmans, Aboriginal Affairs Critic for the Green Party of Canada.

John Moore, a native man from Serpent River First Nation was found guilty in Sault Ste. Marie as a party to the offence of murder when he was not at the scene.  The definition in S21(2) of the Criminal Code included someone as a party who “ought to have known that the commission of the offence would be a probable consequence of carrying out the common purpose.”   In 1990 the Supreme Court of Canada held that clause did not apply to murder and it was struck down.   If Mr. Moore had been charged in 1990 he would have never been convicted.  Instead he has spent 10 years in prison and now faces a lifetime on parole.

“As a native man, John Moore received poor treatment from the Canadian justice system when in 1978 an all-white jury ruled on his case.  Here it is more than thirty years later and society is still punishing him for a murder he did not commit.  He deserves better from the justice system,” said Rekmans

“This archaic law which permitted the conviction of Mr. Moore was rectified in 1987 and despite that fact, nothing has been done to rectify the harm that has been caused to Mr. Moore who spent 10 years in Millhaven Penitentiary and is on parole for life.  This delay in justice is not warranted and I call on the Minister to issue a pardon immediately,” said Rekmans.

“In light of the difficulties that will be created with the Conservative’s Omnibus Crime Bill, the Minister must assure that these outstanding reparations in justice are made now.  This has gone on too long.  The passage of this bill means fundamental changes will be made to the rules and will lengthen the time after sentences served for pardon eligibility. This government has changed the rules since Mr. Moore began his efforts to secure a pardon more than 20 years ago.”

“The government fast-tracked the bill through the Commons, invoking closure every step of the way to limit debate.  I suggest that they expedite justice as quickly, “said Rekmans.