The Sunday Magazine

Freeing the innocent; 20 years of AIDWYC

The list has grown over the years ... It started with Guy Paul Morin, a 25 year old finishing sander and musician who was tried and acquitted, then retried and convicted for the murder of a nine-year old neighbour named Christine Jessup. That verdict was eventually overturned and declared a wrongful conviction. More followed....
The list has grown over the years ... It started with  Guy Paul Morin, a 25 year old finishing sander and musician who was tried and acquitted, then retried and convicted for the murder of a nine-year old neighbour named  Christine Jessup. That verdict was eventually overturned and declared a wrongful conviction.

More followed.Some cases are well known;  Steven Truscott and  David Milgaard became household names. Others, like  Anthony Hanemaayer and  Jack White, less so. 

They popped up all over the country:  Gregory Parsons in Newfoundland;  Erin Walsh in New Brunswick;  Clayton Johnson in Nova Scotia;  Robert Baltovich and  Romeo Phillion in Ontario;  Kyle Unger, James Driskell and  Thomas Sophonow in Manitoba.
 

More and more names piled up.  Richard Brant, Dinesh Kumar, Sherry Sherret-Robinson, Tammy Marquardt and William Mullins-Johnson ... five cases all tied to the shoddy forensic work of disgraced Ontario pathologist  Charles Smith.

Eighteen wrongful convictions in all, resulting in thirteen life sentences and more than 150 years of jail time: all were finally overturned because of the efforts one group -- The Association in Defense of the Wrongly Convicted.

AIDWYC, as the group is known, turns 20 years old this year, and will be hosting a conference and gala in November to celebrate. 

Michael Enright
talks with  Win Wahrer and  James Lockyer, who have been there since the beginning. Ms. Wahrer is the director of client services from the group. Mr. Lockyer is the group's founding director. He also talks with  Ron Dalton, who knows first-hand about the importance of the work done by groups like AIDWYC. He spent more than eight years in prison after being wrongly convicted of killing his wife.  Ron Dalton is now a board member of  AIDWYC.

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