Prairie Justice: The Hanging of Mike Hack

Wayne Sumner, Prairie Justice: The Hanging of Mike Hack, published by the University of Toronto Press. Wayne Sumner is Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto. This is a deeply-researched case study of a capital murder case from Saskatchewan in the 1920s. Although Mike Hack was deaf, and although his case was not famous, and it was not reported, its very ordinariness makes it a fascinating and instructive study of the criminal justice process in Canadian history. His trial and conviction happened very quickly by current-day standards, and his appeal for executive clemency was fairly cursorily rejected. Sumner takes us carefully through the crime, the police investigation, the arrest and trial, and then poses intriguing questions about whether, and why, we might label the case one of wrongful conviction.