Wrongful convictions are a scourge on our justice system
Innocence Canada Welcomes Federal Promise of Independent CommissionFrom: Innocence Canada (issued by Stephen Weir on behalf of Innocence Canada)
News release December 13, 2019
TORONTO: A federal plan to create an independent body to seek out and correct possible wrongful convictions represents the realization of a 25 year-dream for the innocence movement.
Innocence Canada - the country's leading organization advocating for the wrongly convicted - pledged to give Justice Minister David Lametti its full support and assistance as the government establishes the independent commission.
Innocence Canada, formerly the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted, has been advocating for the creation of an independent commission since the organization’s inception in 1993. Over its 25-year history, Innocence Canada has participated in the exoneration of 23 wrongly convicted people in Canada in addition to contributing to a number of public inquiries and commissions. All seven inquiries and commissions have recommended the creation of the independent review commission.
While Innocence Canada is facing a significant funding shortfall over the coming year, it hopes to remain viable during the transition period, if not beyond, in order to support the establishment of the independent review commission.
"Innocence Canada has sent an unprecedented number of carefully-researched legal briefs to Ottawa over the past three years," Innocence Canada's case director Jerome Kennedy said. "It is vital that this work continue."Quotes
"We applaud federal Justice Minister David Lametti and his government for having the vision to establish a free-standing, well-funded commission that can act swiftly to investigate possible wrongful convictions.
The timing of this announcement is vital. With the recent loss of funding from the Ontario government, Innocence Canada faces a very uncertain future. The wrongly convicted deserve better than to wait long periods for an overworked, volunteer organization to come to their aid.
Wrongful convictions are a scourge on our justice system. They do indescribable harm to the families and victims caught up in them. They cause immense damage to public faith in the court system."
- Kirk Makin, Innocence Canada Co-President
- Ron Dalton, Innocence Canada Co-President and wrongly convicted
For more information contact:Jerome Kennedy, Q.C.
Chair Innocence Canada Case Review Committee / Board Director
Innocence Canada Co-President
Innocence Canada Case Management Counsel