The Lazier Murder: Prince Edward County, 1884

By Robert J. Sharpe

© 2011

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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Product Details

  • Series: Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 192 pages
  • Illustrations: 16
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 0.8in x 9.4in
Product Formats

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SKU# SP003285

  • PUBLISHED OCT 2012

    From: $22.46

    Regular Price: $29.95

    ISBN 9781442615267
  • PUBLISHED SEP 2011

    From: $42.75

    Regular Price: $57.00

    ISBN 9781442644212
  • PUBLISHED OCT 2012

    From: $25.46

    Regular Price: $29.95

Quick Overview

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.

The Lazier Murder: Prince Edward County, 1884

By Robert J. Sharpe

© 2011

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.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 192 pages
  • Illustrations: 16
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 0.8in x 9.4in
  • Reviews

    ‘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
  • Author Information

    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 of Canada from 1988 to 1990.
  • Table of contents

    Chapter 1 Introduction

    Chapter 2 The Crime

    Chapter 3 Hugh McKinnon: Detective

    Chapter 4 A Place Apart

    Chapter 5 Coroner's Inquest 

    Chapter 6   Committal Proceedings 

    Chapter 7 Picton Spring Assizes, 1884

    Chapter 8 Surprise Evidence 

    Chapter 9 The Defence

    Chapter 10 Verdict

    Chapter 11 Last Hope

    Chapter 12 Pleas for Mercy

    Chapter 13 The Day of Execution Approaches 

    Chapter 14 Community Conscience 

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