Justice minister orders appeal for Manitoba man in murder case

By The Canadian Press

A Manitoba man who spent more than two decades behind bars is getting a new chance to overturn his murder convictions.

Federal Justice Minister David Lametti has referred the case of Robert Sanderson to the Manitoba Court of Appeal for a new hearing, saying he has concluded there was likely a miscarriage of justice.

Sanderson was found guilty in 1997 of three counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no parole eligibility for 25 years.

The Manitoba Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal in 1999.

Innocence Canada took up Sanderson’s case and said DNA evidence emerged after his conviction that significantly undermined the prosecution’s case.

The group applied for the federal justice minister’s review and is welcoming the decision.

“The minister’s decision to refer his case for a rehearing in the Manitoba Court of Appeal is a huge step for Mr. Sanderson in his quest to clear his name,” Innocence Canada lawyer James Lockyer said in a written statement Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Feb. 13, 2023.

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