Donald Marshall Jr. is one of Canada’s most well-known cases of wrongful conviction. His case is significant for many reasons, perhaps most importantly:
- His case was the first recognized wrongful conviction in Canada
- His case precipitated the first inquiry into the causes of wrongful conviction
- He was the first person to be compensated for damages sustained as a result of a wrongful conviction.
Donald Marshall’s exoneration gave the gift of hope to countless other wrongly convicted persons languishing in Canadian prisons. The wrongly convicted who followed in Donald’s footsteps will be forever indebted to his indomitable spirit, tenacity and courage.
Donald passed away on August 6, 2009. The opening of the new Nova Scotia provincial court in Wagmatcook, and the naming of the Donald Marshall Junior Centre for Justice and Reconciliation, continues to give the same hope Donald inspired to Indigenous people and those who have been wrongly convicted.