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Raymond Sheppard: Justice delayed is justice denied

Raymond Sheppard. Photo Robert Devet

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – During this pandemic (or plan-demic) individuals charged with crimes under the criminal code seem to have been afforded a holiday from having to attend court, receive sentencing or face potential criminal prosecution.

Such is the case with Shaun Wade Hynes, who was found guilty of intentionally shooting Nhlanhla Dlamini in the back with a high velocity nail gun on September 19, 2018. 

Nhlanhla Dlamini was 21-year-old at the time of the heinous crime. This young man of African descent sustained a punctured lung that required emergency surgery. This workplace injury could have easily resulted in death. 

The perpetrator, Shaun Wade Hynes, was charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm instead of attempted murder or with a hate crime.  It has been more than 2 years now, and sadly this individual is still walking and driving around.

See also: Assailant of Nhlanhla Dlamini found guilty of criminal negligence and assault with a weapon

As you may recall, Lionel Desmond an Afghan war veteran, who had been diagnosed with PTSD, shot his wife Shanna, 31, their 10-year-daughter Aaliyah and his 52-year-old mother Brenda on Jan. 3, 2017, before turning the gun on himself in the Borden family’s rural home in Upper Big Tracadie, Nova Scotia. 

A Fatalities Inquiry was finally called, and it’s been more than three years and 7 months and we are no further ahead in finding out what happened, why, and to hear recommendations to prevent this most tragic situation from happening again.

There have been a number of disruptions, including sources close to this writer state that one delay was largely due to a number of lawyers demanding more money per hour. The second delay was due to the Borden Family retaining different legal representation and then the Covid 19 pandemic arrived on the scene. All of this waiting adds to the trauma and pain and suffering of the Desmond/Borden families.

Regardless of Covid 19, justice is past due for African Nova Scotians and African people. Access to real and true justice has always been late for African people, if it was even meted out at all. The passage of time and delays only adds to the pain and suffering. It is indeed a tragedy within a tragedy.

See also: Angela Bowden: Dear Nova Scotians, let’s talk about racism

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