On November 27, 2018 the Manitoba Court of Appeal released its decision quashing Frank Ostrowski’s 1987 first-degree murder conviction.
The court found that it would be unfair to order a second trial after so long and entered a judicial stay of proceedings on his behalf.
Innocence Canada co-founder and lead counsel, James Lockyer, when speaking to the media about the court’s decision said it clears Mr. Ostrowski’s name and adds him to the annals of Canada’s wrongful convictions. Mr. Ostrowski is free of prison and bail conditions for the first time in more than three decades.
Mr. Lockyer went on to add:
“However, once again, there will be no accountability in this case. The man spent 32 years under a first-degree murder claim, 23 of them in prison, and no one’s accountable for that 32 years except him. It’s a familiar refrain in wrongful conviction cases”
For Mr. Ostrowski, at long last the stringent conditions he has been made to live under since being released on bail in December 2009 by the Court of Queen’s Bench are gone.
Innocence Canada submitted a s.696.1 (ministerial review) application on behalf of Mr. Ostrowski to the former Federal Minister of Justice, Peter MacKay who in 2014 determined that there was a likely miscarriage of justice in his case. Justice Minister MacKay referred his case to the Manitoba Court of Appeal for a conviction review which concluded on May 28, 2018.
Mr. Ostrowski has had a very difficult and stressful 32 years; we can only hope that bright days are ahead for him.