CANADIAN WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS TIMELINE
Click on a year in the image above, to view cases of Wrongful convictions in that year. Clicking on individual's name, where indicated, for a link to their case summary.
Steven Truscott – Ontario Acquitted, 2009. AIDWYC Exonerations: Steven Truscott:
Rejean Hinse – Quebec Mr. Hinse was convicted of armed robbery in 1964, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Only after Mr. Hinse had served his full sentence did fresh evidence emerge that proved the alibi he had consistently reported to police investigators. In 1994, the Quebec Court of Appeal set aside his conviction and entered a stay of proceedings. Unsatisfied with this result, Mr. Hinsechallenged the Court of Appeal's decisionand, in 1997, he received a full acquittal from the Supreme Court of Canada.
Gary Staples – Ontario Mr. Staples was convicted of a 1969 murder in Hamilton based on the testimony of his ex-girlfriend, who was seeking leniency in her own criminal proceeding. Mr. Staples spent two years in prison prior to winning his appeal and being acquitted at his second trial. Mr. Staples settled a lawsuit against the Hamilton Police in 2002.
David Milgaard – Saskatchewan
Charges stayed, 1992, and fully exonerated byDNA, 1997. AIDWYC Exonerations: David Milgaard
Donald Marshall, Jr. – Nova Scotia Mr. Marshall, a Mi'kmaq man, was wrongly convicted of the murder of his friend, Sandy Seale, in 1971. He was released from prison in 1983 following the emergence of, among other items of fresh evidence, eyewitness testimony that identified another man as the killer.
The 1990-91 Marshall Inquiry into Mr. Marshall's wrongful conviction represented the first such commission of inquiry into a wrongful conviction in Canada. The resulting report identified pervasive systemic racism as the primary cause of Mr. Marshall's wrongful conviction, and spurred the creation of alternative justice programs for Canada's First Nations Peoples.
Romeo Phillion – Ontario Charges withdrawn, 2010. AIDWYC Exonerations: Romeo Phillion
Erin Walsh – New Brunswick Acquitted, 2008. AIDWYC Exonerations: Erin Walsh
Norman Fox – British Columbia Mr. Fox was convicted in 1976 of rape, buggery and assault. He was pardoned in 1984, on the recommendation of the Department of Justice, after evidence came to light that his conviction had been based on mistaken identity. He later won compensation from the province.
Richard Norris – Ontario Mr. Norris received a 23-month sentence following a conviction for sexual assault. He was not acquitted until 1991, after a friend confessed to the crime.
Thomas Sophonow – Manitoba Acquitted, 1985, and fully exonerated by DNA, 2000. AIDWYC Exonerations: Thomas Sophonow
Richard McArthur – Alberta Mr. McArthur was convicted in 1986 of the stabbing death of a fellow inmate at Drumheller Institution. He had claimed to have acted in self-defence, but was unable to produce a witness to the deceased's initial assault. Only later, while incarcerated at Edmonton Institution, was Mr. McArthur able to locate an individual who had seen the deceased enter his cell armed with a knife.
Mr. McArthur submitted a s. 690 application in 1998. His conviction was overturned, and he was acquitted by the Alberta Court of Appeal in 1990.
Rodney Cain – Ontario Acquitted, 2006.
Wilson Nepoose – Alberta Mr. Nepoose spent five years in prison after his conviction for second-degree murder. He was freed in 1992 when a key Crown witness admitted he had lied on the stand. Mr. Nepoose struggled with depression following his release, and was found dead by his own hand in 1998.
Anthony Hanemaayer – Ontario Acquitted, 2008. AIDWYC Exonerations: Anthony Hanemaayer
Michael McTaggart – Ontario Mr. McTaggart, a Tennessee native, was a popular busker in Toronto's subway system prior to being convicted for a series of bank robberies. He spent 20 months in prison before investigators realized that the robberies were continuing during his incarceration. The Ontario Court of Appeal ordered a new trial in 1990, and the charges were withdrawn four months later.
Ron Dalton – Newfoundland Acquitted, 2000. Exonerations with AIDWYC Involvement: Ron Dalton
Peter Frumusa – Ontario Charges withdrawn, 1998. Exonerations with AIDWYC Involvement: Peter Frumusa
James Driskell – Manitoba Charges stayed, 2005. AIDWYC Exonerations: James Driskell
Chris McCullough – Ontario Mr. McCullough was convicted, along with two others, of a 1989 murder near Hamilton. The Ontario Court of Appeal overturned his conviction in 2000 after previously overlooked forensic evidence established his innocence. It was also established that several Crown witnesses were offered inducements for their testimony.
Benoit Proulx – Quebec Mr. Proulx was convicted of a 1986 murder based primarily on flawed eyewitness identification evidence. His conviction was overturned on appeal, and the Quebec Court of Appeal entered an acquittal after finding that the evidence against Mr. Proulx was nowhere near sufficient.
Hughes Dugay and Billy Taillefer – Quebec Mr. Duguay and Mr. Taillefer were convicted after offering confessions to a 1990 murder. Both men contended the confessions had been extracted by force.
The convictions were called into question in 1999, after a provincial commission of inquiry into police misconduct discovered that a large volume of relevant and important information had been withheld from the defence.
Both men''s convictions were overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2003. The Crown elected to stay the charges against Mr. Duguay shortly thereafter. The charges against Mr. Taillefer were withdrawn in 2006.
Wilfred Beaulieu – Alberta Mr. Beaulieu served his entire 3 1/2 – year sentence for sexual assault before his s. 690 application yielded a new appeal. His conviction was overturned by the Alberta Court of Appeal and an acquittal entered in 1997.
Steven Kaminski – Alberta Mr. Kaminski served seven years in prison, and received a dangerous offender designation, following his conviction for the sexual assault of a co-worker. The conviction was overturned when it was later discovered that Mr. Kaminski's accuser had been having a sexual relationship with both the investigating RCMP officer and one of the key witnesses at trial. The Crown elected in 2003 not to proceed with a new trial. Mr. Kaminski later received an undisclosed settlement from the RCMP.
Kyle Unger – Manitoba Acquitted, 2008.
AIDWYC Exonerations: Kyle Unger
Guy Paul Morin – Ontario Acquitted, 1995.
AIDWYC Exonerations: Guy Paul Morin
Robert Baltovich – Ontario Acquitted, 2008.
AIDWYC Exonerations: Robert Baltovich
Michel Dumont – Quebec Mr. Dumont was convicted for sexual assault, kidnapping and uttering threats. Six months after his conviction, the complainant spotted the actual perpetrator and realized that she had mistakenly identified Mr. Dumont based on his passing resemblance. Police did not follow up on her report.
Mr. Dumont's appeal failed and he served 34 months of his 50-month sentence prior to being paroled. The complainant's recantation was finally made public in 2001, and Mr. Dumont was acquitted by the Quebec Court of Appeal.
Felix Michaud – New Brunswick Mr. Michaud was twice convicted of murder following his cousin's death in a housefire. The conviction was based primarily on the testimony of a witness the police knew to be unreliable. Significant documentation on the witness was never disclosed to the defence prior to the witness's death.
Mr. Michaud was released in 2001, when the judge at his third trial excluded the witness's testimony and the Crown’Äôs case collapsed.
Herman Kaglik – Northwest Territories Mr. Kaglik was convicted of a string of sexual assaults against his niece and spent a total of nearly five years in prison. While Mr. Kaglik was incarcerated, the complainant, in a dying declaration, admitted to police that she had fabricated the crimes, but police failed to follow up on her recantation.
Mr. Kaglik was acquitted in 1998, when DNA tests performed on samples he had given in 1992 proved his innocence. He received a settlement from the federal government in 2001.
Clayton Johnson – Nova Scotia Acquitted, 2002. AIDWYC Exonerations: Clayton Johnson
Gregory Parsons – Newfoundland Acquitted, 1998. Exonerations with AIDWYC Involvement: Gregory Parsons
William Mullins-Johnson – Ontario Acquitted, 2007. AIDWYC Exonerations:William Mullins-Johnson
Randy Druken – Newfoundland
Charges stayed, 2000. Exonerations with AIDWYC Involvement: Randy Druken
Gordon Folland – Ontario Charges withdrawn, 1999. Exonerations with AIDWYC Involvement: Gordon Folland
Kulaveerasingam Karthiresu – Ontario Mr. Karthiresu, who arrived in Canada in 1991 as a convention refugee, was convicted of murder in connection with a shooting at a Scarborough house party. He was granted a new trial when ten Crown witnesses later recanted their testimony. The Crown withdrew the charges against Mr. Karthiresu at his second trial in 2000.
Jamie Nelson – Ontario Mr. Nelson spent three years in prison after being convicted of the rape of his ex-wife's friend. The conviction was based solely on the complainant's testimony. Mr. Nelson was acquitted by the Ontario Court of Appeal when it emerged that the complainant had a long history of making false accusations and abusing the justice system.
Simon Marshall – Quebec Mr. Marshall spent six years in prison after his conviction for a string of sexual assaults in Ste-Foy. Evidence of Mr. Marshall's mental handicap was led at trial, but his confession to investigating officers was nevertheless admitted.
Mr. Marshall was cleared via DNA testing in 2003, and the Quebec Court of Appeal entered an acquittal.
Sherry Sherrett-Robinson – Ontario Acquitted, 2009. AIDWYC Exonerations: Sherry Sherrett-Robinson
Joe Webber – Ontario Mr. Webber spent 19 months in custody for forcible confinement and robbery. His conviction was based on mistaken eyewitness identification. Mr. Webber was acquitted by the Ontario Court of Appeal in 2010 when the two men actually responsible for the crime confessed.
Jack White – Ontario Charges withdrawn, 2010. AIDWYC Exonerations: Jack White
C.M. – Ontario C.M. was charged with manslaughter following the death of her baby in 1992. She maintained that it had been stillborn, but pleaded guilty in the face of an opinion to the contrary by the now-discredited Dr. Charles Smith. A new trial was ordered by the Ontario Court of Appeal in October, 2010, and the charge was formally withdrawn in December.
Ivan Henry – British Columbia Ivan Henry was convicted in 1983 in connection with a series of sexual assaults in Vancouver. His conviction was obtained primarily on eyewitness and voice identification evidence. He was subsequently classified as a dangerous offender and served 27 years in prison before the B.C. Court of Appeal found that his defence counsel had been denied access to important documents, and that the jury had been improperly instructed. He was acquitted in October, 2010.