Donald Marshall, a Mi'kmaq man from Nova Scotia, spent 11 years in prison for a murder he had not committed. Although the Nova Scotia Court of Appeals overturned his conviction in 1983, and he was released, his saga had not yet ended. In 1990, the Marshall Inquiry, a body investigating how and why Marshall had been wrongfully convicted, tabled its report, issuing a damning indictment of the province's justice system, particularly as it applied to Native peoples. Noting how the justice system had failed Marshall, the report castigated that system and the police investigation as incompetent and racist. Moreover, the inquiry attacked the manner in which the provincial Court of Appeals had rendered its verdict. Although exonerating Marshall, the court suggested that he had played a role in his own misfortune. The findings of the Marshall Inquiry, which painted a picture of systemic injustice toward Native peoples in the realm of legal justice in Canada, merely confirmed the conclusions of other reports on the experience of Natives across the country.

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