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Children's Nonfiction Law & Crime

Real Justice: Sentenced to Life at Seventeen

The story of David Milgaard

by (author) Cynthia J. Faryon

James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Initial publish date
Sep 2012
Law & Crime, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2012
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2012
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2012
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 13 to 17
  • Grade: 8 to 12
  • Reading age: 13 to 17


David Milgaard was a troubled kid, and he got into lots of trouble. Unfortunately, that made it easy for the Saskatoon police to brand him as a murderer. At seventeen, David Milgaard was arrested, jailed, and convicted for the rape and murder of a young nursing assistant, Gail Miller. He was sent to adult prison for life.

Throughout his twenty-three years in prison, David maintained that he was innocent and refused to admit to the crime, even though it meant he was never granted parole. Finally, through the incredible determination of his mother and new lawyers who believed in him, David was released and proven not guilty. Astonishingly, in hindsight the real murderer was obvious from the start.

This is the true story of how bad decisions, tunnel vision, poor representation, and outright lying and coercion by those within the justice system caused a tragic miscarriage of justice. It also shows that wrongs can be righted and amends made.

[Fry Reading Level - 4.3

About the author

CYNTHIA J. FARYON is an internationally published author and freelance writer. She focuses her writing on Canadian content, covering topics such as travel, biography, and history. She is the author of several Amazing Stories series including books on the Royal Canadian Air Force and Navy. She lives in Nova Scotia.

Cynthia J. Faryon's profile page


  • Short-listed, Red Maple Non-Fiction Award
  • Short-listed, Golden Oak Award
  • Winner, VOYA Nonfiction Honor List

Editorial Reviews

"a critique of the Canadian justice system... [Faryon should spark a reader's interest in the case." Rated G - good, even great at times, generally useful!

Resource Links

"Faryon draws readers into the book with her crisp and engaging dramatization of the crime... additional features in the book enhance its value as a teaching and learning tool by extending readers understanding of the Milgaard case beyond the book and encouraging them to explore other issues further." Recommended.

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"Sentenced to Life at Seventeen should be recommended for the fascinating story it tells alone.


Other titles by Cynthia J. Faryon