The Lazier Murder: Prince Edward County, 1884 (Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History)

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9781442615267: The Lazier Murder: Prince Edward County, 1884 (Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History)
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In December 1883, Peter Lazier was shot in the heart during a bungled robbery at a Prince Edward County farmhouse. Three local men, pleading innocence from start to finish, were arrested and charged with his murder. Two of them — Joseph Thomset and David Lowder — were sentenced to death by a jury of local citizens the following May. Nevertheless, appalled community members believed at least one of them to be innocent — even pleading with prime minister John A. Macdonald to spare them from the gallows.

The Lazier Murder explores a community's response to a crime, as well as the realization that it may have contributed to a miscarriage of justice. Robert J. Sharpe reconstructs and contextualizes the case using archival and contemporary newspaper accounts. The Lazier Murder provides an insightful look at the changing pattern of criminal justice in nineteenth-century Canada, and the enduring problem of wrongful convictions.

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About the Author:

Robert J. Sharpe is judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. He taught at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto from 1976 to 1988 and served under Chief Justice Brian Dickson as Executive Legal Officer at the Supreme Court Canada from 1988 to 1990.

Review:

‘A fascinating tale, The Lazier Murder provides an enjoyable, accessible account of an 1883 murder trial in Prince Edward County, Ontario. This valuable book explores a period of transition in the criminal justice system, when older ideas emphasizing localized justice were increasingly seen to be at odds with efforts to create a more professional, rational, and consistent structure. Robert J. Sharpe’s careful, nuanced reconstruction of the case sheds considerable light on late nineteenth-century criminal procedure.’ (Blake Brown, Department of History, Saint Mary’s University)

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9781442644212: The Lazier Murder: Prince Edward County, 1884 (Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History)

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ISBN 10:  1442644214 ISBN 13:  9781442644212
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Sch..., 2011
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