This short film by Canadian Filmmaker Sammy Ray Welsh features Innocence Canada client Anthony Hanemaayer, Innocence Canada's Co-President and Exoneree Ron Dalton, Innocence Canada pro-bono counsels Marlys Edwardh and James Lockyer, University of Toronto Professor Kent Roach and Justice Fred Kaufman Commissioner of the Guy Paul Morin Inquiry.
You can watch the video here.
Guy Paul Morin
In 1995, after two trials and an appeal, Guy Paul Morin’s wrongful conviction was finally overturned thanks to irrefutable DNA evidence. Guy Paul Morin’s experience inspired a handful of individuals to create the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (AIDWYC), now Innocence Canada.
You can watch Guy Paul Morin speak to The Fifth Estate about his wrongful conviction in Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt.
In addition, the case of Guy Paul Morin was examined by journalist Kathy Kenzora in a three-part series of the podcast 1995.
Ron Dalton was convicted on December 15, 1989 for the murder of his wife, Brenda Dalton, who died on August 16, 1988 in Gander, Newfoundland. He was found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with no possibility of parole for a minimum of ten years. Ron waited eight years in prison to have his appeal heard and it took twelve years for the truth to come out, that no crime was committed and Ron was an innocent man.
Ron tells his story on Falsely Accused: Ronald Dalton's Struggle and how his wrongful conviction changed his and his family’s life forever.
David Milgaard’s case is one of the most well-known wrongful convictions in Canadian history. David was 16 when he was arrested for the murder of Gail Miller. David would ultimately spend almost 23 years in prison and an additional five years waiting for the evidence to clear his name. On July 18, 1997, DNA evidence confirmed that David was innocent and on November 22, 1999, Larry Fisher, who lived in the area, was convicted of Gail Miller’s rape and murder.
The Fifth Estate investigated the truth behind Gail Miller's murder and David’s wrongful conviction in the documentary, Who Killed Gail Miller?.
Clayton Johnson’s life was shattered on February 20, 1989. While Clayton was on his way to work, his wife, Janice, fell down a flight of stairs, hit her head, lost consciousness and died. At first, police agreed that Janice’s death was the result of an accidental but fatal fall. This finding was supported by the doctor who performed Janice’s initial autopsy. However, the investigation was reopened in the summer of 1989, and Clayton was charged, and ultimately convicted of murdering Janice.
In 2002, Clayton’s wrongful conviction was finally overturned. His application was supported by 22 forensic experts who found that Janice’s death was caused by an accidental fall.
You can learn more about Clayton’s wrongful conviction by watching The Fifth Estate’s Tide of Suspicion.
The name Steven Truscott is synonymous with wrongful conviction. Steven’s wrongful conviction is Canada's most famous criminal case involving a minor. Sentenced to death by hanging at the age of 14, Steven's conviction featured many of the systemic factors that are now known to lead to a wrongful conviction: tunnel vision, faulty forensics, unreliable witnesses, and a lack of disclosure.
In 2000, Steven spoke of his journey on The Fifth Estate's His Word Against History.
William “Bill” Mullins-Johnson’s life was shattered when his 4-year-old niece, Valin, died of natural causes, and he was wrongly convicted of her murder. After many painful years, it would finally be shown that Bill and his entire family were victims of the criminal justice system and the flawed evidence of Charles Smith who was, at the time, revered as a paediatric forensic pathologist at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. Bill’s application was supported by multiple forensic experts who agreed that Valin was not murdered.
The Fifth Estate's, A Death in the Family, explores Bill’s wrongful conviction.
In 1992, Robert “Rob” Baltovich was wrongly convicted of murdering his girlfriend, Elizabeth Bain. Rob maintained his innocence throughout his trial and 8-year sentence, and his wrongful conviction was finally overturned in 2008. Elizabeth’s body has never been found and the real killer has yet to be brought to justice.
In 2019, Rob spoke about his wrongful conviction on the Murder Was The Case podcast.
In 1991 Maria Shepherd was a 21-year-old mother, with two young children and pregnant with her third child when she was charged with the murder of her three-and-a-half-year-old step-daughter, Kasandra. An integral part of Maria’s conviction was the flawed evidence of Charles Smith who was, at the time, revered as a paediatric forensic pathologist at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. Faced with the prospect of a lengthy trial and sentence, as well as losing access to her remaining children, Maria made the most difficult decision of her life and pled guilty in order to keep her family together.
Maria shared her story and the impact of her wrongful conviction on CTV’s The Social.
In 1999 Glen Assoun was wrongfully convicted of murdering his girlfriend, Brenda Way. Glen spent the next 17 years in prison relentlessly fighting to prove his innocence. His wrongful conviction was overturned in 2019 and Innocence Canada is honoured to count Glen as our 23rd exoneree.
Glen's story was profiled on CTV's W5 Railroaded.
Also, in Season 7 of the CBC podcast Uncover, reporter Tim Bousquet investigates the wrongful conviction of Glen Assoun. The podcast recounts Glen's trial and appeal, his experience in prison, the investigation and destruction of evidence.
In 1974, 19-year-old Brian Anderson, from Winnipeg, was convicted of murder. Forty-five years later Brian continues to assert his innocence. In early January 2019, Innocence Canada submitted a s.696.1 application for Ministerial Review to the Criminal Convictions Review Group (CCRG). The application consisted of 9 parts, 34 volumes and 7,000 pages of documentation. A second application was submitted on behalf of Brian’s co-accused, Allan Woodhouse, in February 2020.
In the W5 documentary, Breaking Free, correspondent Avery Haines investigates Brian Anderson's conviction through the lens of Innocence Canada's application to the Minister of Justice.
Crown Prosecutor George Dangerfield
George Dangerfield holds the unfortunate title of being the Crown prosecutor responsible for the most wrongful convictions in Canada. Four that have been proven include Thomas Sophonow, James Driskell, Kyle Unger and Frank Ostrowski, and two more, Brian Anderson and Allan Woodhouse, await a decision from the Minister of Justice.
How could one man be responsible for sending at least six innocent men to prison? Find out on The Fifth Estate’s The Wrong Man.
Wrongful Conviction social media campaign in collaboration with Warner Bros. Canada
The film Just Mercy chronicles the real-life story of Bryan Stevenson, an American wrongful conviction advocate, and stars Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson and Jamie Foxx. In December 2019 Warner Bros. Canada and Innocence Canada launched a digital campaign which features the Just Mercy cast and wrongful conviction advocate George Stroumboulopoulos, in a series of videos which raise awareness about wrongful conviction in Canada.
You can watch the videos here: Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, Bryan Stevenson and Jamie Foxx.