Wrongful convictions are a scourge on our justice system


Innocence Canada Welcomes Federal Promise of Independent Commission
From:  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
"As a victim of wrongful conviction I am especially encouraged by the Minister's announcement of the long-awaited, publicly funded, independent body to address the issue of wrongful conviction. In my role as Co-President of Innocence Canada I seen the devastating effects such mistakes create and have a first-hand view of how wrongful convictions undermine the justice system. Canadians deserve to have confidence in our justice system and this announcement is an important step toward recognizing and remedying the unfortunate mistakes it makes."
  • Ron Dalton, Innocence Canada Co-President and wrongly convicted
Associated Links

For more information contact: 

Jerome Kennedy, Q.C.
Chair Innocence Canada Case Review Committee / Board Director
Email: jkennedy@wrmmlaw.com
 
Ron Dalton
Innocence Canada Co-President
Email: rcdalton@hotmail.ca
 
Bhavan Sodhi
Innocence Canada Case Management Counsel
Email: bsodhi@innocencecanada.com

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