Odelia and Nerissa need your help

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PAOV — Odelia and Nerissa have a bail hearing approaching. The sisters from Keeseekoose First Nation in Saskatchewan have spent 30 years imprisoned for a murder someone else confessed to. The sisters have maintained their innocence for those 30 years. In June, Federal Justice Minister David Lametti formally acknowledged that a miscarriage of justice likely occurred in the case and launched a ministerial review. The upcoming bail hearing is a crucial step for the sisters, as it would mean they would be released on bail pending the ministerial review of their case — which can be a lengthy process. You can help Odelia and Nerissa in this critical moment by adding your signature before their hearings.

Wrongfully Convicted: Free Odelia & Nerissa... Quewezance - A Nation Wide Plea

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Odelia & Nerissa Quewezance are indigenous sisters from Saulteaux in Western Canada. They are currently fighting for their freedom after being wrongfully convicted for murder. To date, they have spent close to thirty years in prison for a crime they did not commit.

Odelia was convicted of second-degree murder in 1994 for her part in the killing of a Kamsack, Saskatchewan area farmer. Her sister Nerissa was also convicted and sentenced at that time. Both indigenous women maintain their innocence despite receiving life sentences.

Their cousin, Jason Keshane (a young offender at the time of the crime), admitted to the murder (during the original trial and years later, on national television: APTN Investigates). As a young offender, Keshane only spent 4 years in custody. Instead of his confession exonerating them, both indigenous sisters were convicted and sentenced to prison without the possibility of parole for at least 10 years.

Neither client has ever pled guilty. Innocence Canada is currently representing both Odelia and Nerissa. Transcripts indicated zero physical evidence tying them to the murder that someone else confessed to. So why are these sisters still incarcerated?

High-profile advocates, including the Vice-Chief, Kim Beaudin, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, are formally petitioning the Canadian government (Justice Minister and Prime Minister) to immediately intervene and release these sisters. The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples is formally co-sponsoring this petition. Other advocates include Mr. David Milgaard, who spent 23 years in prison before being exonerated by DNA evidence in 1997 of raping and murdering Saskatoon nurse Gail Miller in 1969.

These indigenous sisters have been locked up for almost 30 years and the person responsible for the murder they were convicted of, confessed on national television. In addition to a lack of evidence, we need to acknowledge Keshane’s confession.

We are calling on the Canadian government to release these two women immediately. We have a responsibility as Canadian citizens, to acknowledge the harm done to these indigenous women, and to rectify this miscarriage of justice. Please help us petition for an immediate remedy. They have already served a disproportionately long sentence for a crime that someone else confessed to. JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED!

For more background on this case, please watch our previous online event, with several high-profile advocates in attendance:

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