Innocence Canada is grateful for the opportunity to contribute ideas to the Minister of Justice for legislative reforms directed to the prevention and correction of miscarriages of justice. As an organization that has closely examined many wrongful convictions, we believe we can bring a valuable perspective to the process of improving the law of evidence, the conduct of trials and the appellate process. This report examines the rationale behind the 13 recommendations on criminal justice reform made by Innocence Canada. Each recommendation falls under one of five broader issues:
- statement of defendants;
- guilty pleas of innocent defendants;
- eyewitness identification;
- the appellate role in correcting wrongful convictions; and
- the failure of the defendant to testify.
These recommendations were determined by reviewing the systemic, social, and psychological issues at the heart of each barrier, proven best practices to limit these issues, and the review of cases of wrongly convicted Canadians.