AIDWYC is a non-profit organization that has developed a strong reputation as an advocate for individuals who have been wrongly convicted.
AIDWYC's primary mandate is to review and support claims of innocence in homicide cases.
However, because individual exonerations do not eliminate the conditions which foster these miscarriages of justice, AIDWYC is also dedicated to addressing the causes of wrongful conviction by:
• Making representations to governments on reforms to the legal system • Raising public awareness about miscarriages of justice • Participating in public inquiries related to wrongful convictions • Intervening in legal cases which seek to rectify miscarriages of justice
There is no system in place at present in Canada for an independent review of claims of wrongful conviction. AIDWYC fills this gap, attracting some of the top legal experts in Ontario to identify these cases and, where warranted, prepare an application for ministerial review to the Criminal Conviction Review Group of the Federal Department of Justice, known as a Criminal Code Section 696.1 application.
AIDWYC's office is located in Toronto and much of our work is done in Ontario. However, we have dedicated volunteers throughout Canada and in the United States. AIDWYC welcomes applications from across the country. AIDWYC is currently reviewing over sixty claims of innocence and actively pursuing more than 40 cases.
All Canadian citizens stand to benefit from AIDWYC's effort to free those who have been wrongly convicted and to reform the justice system to reduce or prevent wrongful convictions in the future. Canada has an excellent system of justice, but every wrongful conviction harms not only the person convicted but also reduces people's faith in the system as a whole. It is important to remember that when someone is convicted of a crime he or she did not commit, the guilty person goes free.