Winnipeg man fights to prove he is innocent

Winnipeg man fights to prove he is innocent

Brian Anderson wants to fight to prove he is innocent 45 years after a murder conviction.

Now, the man is 64 and he leads a fairly normal lifestyle: he works and communicates with his children and grandchildren. At first glance nothing squeezes out the fact that he spent a decade in prison.

"I struggle like everybody else. I gotta live," he says. "I try not to think about it — try to forget it, but it's there. Somebody's done you wrong, it's hard to forget."

Anderson tried to fight for his innocence for many years, but he was denied an appeal. So, the man has his last hope - the Federal Minister of Justice.

Anderson and three other guys were convicted of murdering a man in 1975. Three of them received life sentences, including Anderson. However, he was granted day parole in 1982, and full parole in 1987.

The man does not like to talk about his past. His daughter sits next to him.

"I don't want to be doing this interview," Anderson says. "It brings back bad memories and I have to relive this whole thing again. I don't like doing that."

However, the man has optimism and faith in victory.

Two years ago lawyers, students and volunteers for Innocence Canada got interested in his case and studied all the details. In January 2019, the men’s lawyers filed their 160-page briefing to the Federal Minister of Justice.

Lawyers believe that the justice system has turned its back to the man solely because of his Indigenous origin. Therefore, he did not have a fair trial. Anderson is going to wait even for many years, but to hear that the government made a mistake in its decision in 1974.

The man was arrested a week after the murder. He did not understand English well at that time, and signed the document that he was given without even being able to read it. It was a murder confession. Now, the lawyers are confident that his confession will be very important for the whole case since the police deceived Anderson at that moment.

"There was no forensic evidence of any type which connected Brian Anderson to the scene or to the crime itself," one of the lawyers said. "There were no lawyers or translators present during the interviews with Winnipeg police. Brian maintained from Day 1 — and testified to this effect at trial — that the police made the confession up."

"I need to be free. I didn't hurt anybody or kill anybody. I shouldn't be labeled as this," Anderson says.

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Brian Anderson murder conviction Innocence Canada
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