Federal Prisons in Canada
of Ontario was accused, in 1984, of rape and first-degree murder of Christine Jessop his 9 year old next door neighbour having stabbed her 13 times. The court found him not guilty in 1986 and later found him guilty in 1992.Guy Paul Morin was exonerated in 1995 as a result of sophisticated DNA testing after having spent 10 years in prison. The report concluded that the police, the Crown prosecutors, and the experts committed serious errors in this affair and had lacked objectivity.“If ordinary people had screwed up like that, they would have lost their jobs.”
Guy Paul Morin“…the professionals in the administration of justice claimed having found an individual, innocent beyond all reasonable doubt, as the guilty party of an crime. And this by fraudulent and illegal methods such as fabrication of evidence, manipulation of witnesses, lying, planting of proof…” [translation]
Asubeti, Sefu Pene - University of Ottawa“…Police, forensic experts and Crown prosecutors were so confident -- so smug -- that they built their case backwards, manipulating and creating evidence to prove the guilt of a suspect who could not possibly be innocent. But he was.…”
Jack King - NACDL.org Public Affairs DirectorIn 1997, he received 1.25 million dollars from the government of Ontario.
of Manitoba was condemned to life for the premeditated murder of his friend, without a confession and neither a witness nor the weapon of the crime. He was found guilty because of three hairs found in his vehicle and the testimony of a paid informer.In 2002, DNA tests, conducted in a United Kingdom laboratory, proved the hairs were not that of the victim. In a 175 page report the government of Saskatchewan had given warning that the witness was not credible. The informer had been given immunity in an case of arson and was receiving thousands of dollars in compensation. Jack Ewatski, the Winnipeg chief of police, now disgraced for corruption and racism, sat on the report for 10 years.The inquiry declared that the officers "did not provide the Crown with crucial information before and after the trial" and even lied to the Crown and to the defence in regard to the informer. It also pointed the finger at the chief of police for his participation. Noteworthy is the fact that this was the same team of Crown prosecutors that falsely convicted Thomas Sophonow en 1985.James Driskell spent 12 years in prison. He was wrongfully accused. The Attorney General presented an apology.In 2008 he was offered 4 million dollars in compensation.
These wrongfully accused cases all have the same elements: heinous events engulfed in a media feeding frenzy and an angered public demanding a quick conviction. They all have the same symptoms: doubtful methods, too much zeal, and tunnel vision.
This gives the impression of a non functional judicial system. This is false. There are many safeguards notably the presumption of innocence and that an accused must be found quilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The latter renders it infallible.
Reasonable doubt was everywhere and could have avoided shattering the lives of these victims of crimes committed by the state and those of their families and friends. It would also have saved the honour of the system.
Why the presumption of innocence and reasonable doubt were not respected remains speculative: malice, indifference, wanting to make a name for oneself, prejudice, incompetence, heavy case loads, underpaid, too many episodes of NCIS: LA, Hawaii Five-0 et cetera. In the TV series we know the guilty in advance and allow some leeway.
Human error? Yes, but too many human errors equates to incompetence.