Donald Marshall Jr

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d Donald Marshall Junior, a young Mi’kmaq man, was arrested and wrongfully convicted of murdering Sandy Seale, a local black man in 1971. He spent 11 years in prison before being acquitted of his charges. It was because of the faulty and negligent police work that a seventeen year old was to be imprisoned for the next 11 years of his life. Due to their incompetence, not only was a young man sent to jail, but the perpetrator roamed free. It was in 1982 that the case was reopened by Marshall’s new lawyer, Stephen Aronson.

It was sometime late at night on May 28, 1971 when Donald Marshall Junior and Sandy Seale were walking through Wentworth Park. During their walk, they met up with two other gentlemen named Roy Ebsary and James MacNeil. (1) At this time they had engaged in a conversation with the two men. At some time during their conversation, Donald and Sandy attempted to pan handle them. However, Mr. Ebsary was intoxicated and didn’t take very kindly to people of a different race. He shouted something to do with being black at Mr. Seale then proceeded to stab him in the stomach. After he stabbed Sandy he swung his knife at Donald. He cut Donald's arm. Sandy Seale was admitted to the hospital and died the next day. (1)

The investigation started immediately. The four police officers that had first reported to the scene did so in an unprofessional manner. They missed crucial evidence that could have put the right man in prison, putting an innocent man there for the next 11 years of his life. The officers also failed to question witnesses, search the area for evidence, and not one of them stayed to protect the crime scene from being tampered with.

Following Seale’s death, the case was handed over to the Sergeant of Detectives, John Macintyre. Mr. Macintyre had a preconception of what happened that night. Marshall was guilty. Regardless, he had to conduct the investigation. Though it is said he viewed Marshall as a “troublemaker,” he still pursued the...
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