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Guy-Paul Morin: The body of Christine Jessop, 9, is found in a farmer's field. 1985-92: Morin is arrested, tried, acquitted, tried again and convicted of murder by a prosecutor now a judge. 1995: He is cleared and offered $1.25M compensation after DNA testing excludes him as the source of semen found on the child's underwear. An inquiry slams the investigation. The final report says mistakes by forensic scientists, police, and prosecutors all combined to send an innocent man to jail. He is the best known wrongly convicted exonerated person in Canada.
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Just before Christmas, 2001, when no one was paying attention, the infamous videotapes depicting sex killer Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka's vicious rape and torture of schoolgirls Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy were incinerated by court order. Future historians will have to speculate about just how demented Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka really were. An exercise kind of like speculating on how awful Auschwitz was. Except to holocaust deniers like Ernst Zundel, we can point to the evidence.
David Milgaard: The partly clad body of nursing aide Gail Miller, 20, is found in a Saskatoon snowbank. 1970: Milgaard is sentenced to life in prison for murder. 1992: The Supreme Court of Canada recommends a new trial after hearing evidence of a series of rapes committed in Saskatoon by RCMP snitch Larry Fisher who had already been convicted of four rapes and one attempted rape. Fisher was convicted in 1999 and sentenced to life in prison. David Milgaard was set free in 1992 and exonerated in 1997 following DNA tests. Gets $10M
MORE NATIVE STORIES: This is an aggregate of a theme in the inJusticebusters.org site centred around the injustices towards the indigenous people of North America in Canada such as shootings, beatings, killings, rapes, and of course the famous "Midnight Tours". These individual stories rarely make it to the top 20 but as an aggregate theme they rank here. This is Canada's equivalent to Black Lives Matter.
Sebastian Burns and Atif Rafay: The heartbreaking story of two bright Canadians who were traded to the U.S. by malicious cops to advance their careers. This "Mr Big" undercover operation is a disgrace to the democratic world. RCMP undercover operators Haslett and Shinkaruk have boasted that using the Mr. Big or some other scenario, the cops can get anyone to "confess". Posing as thugs, the two lured Burns into a phony criminal enterprise. Eventually, they extracted a pair of halting, reluctant confessions.
Brenton Butler: "Murder on a Sunday Morning", the winner for Best Documentary at the 2002 Academy Award ceremony, premiered on HBO. It recounts the trial of Brenton Butler, a 15-year-old Jacksonville resident who had been falsely accused of murdering a white tourist during a robbery. He had no gunshot residue on his hands. His fingerprints were not on the woman's purse which was stolen during the shooting. The $91 he had on him was from honest work at Burger King. Butler testified that police detectives beat a confession out of him. Settles for $775K.
Jaime Wheeler, 20, was murdered in her basement suite on March 12, 2000, stabbed and slashed 56 times. Dominic McCullock, 23, was convicted in 2004 of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 15 years. He has maintained his innocence and is appealing his conviction. The trial heard that DNA found in blood on Wheeler's jacket and apartment door handles matched McCullock's, and a pubic hair stuck in dried blood on Wheeler's arm matched his.
George Pitt: is serving a life sentence for the slaying, in 1993, of a six-year-old girl who had been raped, beaten, choked and then drowned. This sent shockwaves through Saint John NB. Lawyers acting for Pitt believe it may have triggered a rush to judgement in his arrest and conviction. He has maintained his innocence since day one. New evidence could force federal justice officials to take another look at the murder conviction. Authorities have finally tested key evidence from the crime scene, including the girl's nightgown and swabs from her body. None of it matches George Pitt's DNA.
William Mullins-Johnson was condemned for having sodomised and strangled his 4-year old niece. No scientific evidence tied him to the crime. He was condemned by the testimony of now discredited "expert" pathologist Charles Smith who had also testified in the deaths of 41 other children and led to the convictions of 13 other people. In 2005 he was freed on bail while Ottawa debated whether this was a miscarriage of justice. The chief pathologist of Ontario declared his neice died of natural causes. The autopsy showed no traces of injuries to the neck or anus. There had never been a crime. Gets 4.25M in 2010.
Shannon Murrin: Mindy Tran disappeared on August 17, 1994. A lead RCMP investigator had Shannon Murrin brutally beaten up by thugs in 1995. He was charged with her rape and murder in January 1997 and acquitted by a jury in January 2000. A juror, later Murrin's girlfriend, wrote a story of what "really happened" and accused the media and RCMP of having him convicted before the trial began. The Mindy Tran website writes: "Her's is a well crafted tale transforming Murrin from a monstrous child killer into the lovable falsely accused rogue".
Clayton Johnson: Janice Johnson, 36, is found with fatal head injuries at the bottom of the basement stairs in her Shelburne, N.S. home. 1993-2001: Clayton Johnson, her husband, is convicted of bludgeoning her to death. A Texas pathologist who reviewed the original findings determined the woman died accidentally when she fell down the stairs backwards and struck her head. The federal justice minister refered this case to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal which ordered a new murder trial for Clayton Johnson. Gets $2.5M
Ron and Linda Sterling were the key figures in the Martensville case, the most infamous sexual abuse trial ever held in Saskatchewan. They were found not guilty of 32 crimes against children. "We're going to be tainted as the most vile child molesters for the rest of our lives" says Ron. "No matter that I've been found not guilty. Our life can never be normal. We've lost two years of our lives. I used to have great faith in the justice system."
In 1973, Peter Reilly found his mother's severely battered body on the floor of their cottage. Police immediately found his demeanor odd and whisked him away. A failed polygraph examination solidified investigators' belief that he attacked his mother, and used the findings as a hammer during an 8-hour interrogation. A jury convicted him of first-degree manslaughter in 1974. He was exonerated after it was disclosed prosecutors improperly withheld an auxiliary trooper's statement which placed him far from the crime scene at about the time of the murder. A judge concluded "a grave injustice" had been committed and vacated the conviction with prejudice, meaning Reilly could never be retried for the still unsolved crime.
James Driskell was convicted by 3 hairs and the testimony of two paid snitches. RCMP testified at the trial the hairs found in his van belonged to the victim. The prosecution argued he committed the murder in the van. According to test results from the Forensic Science Services in England, none of the hairs belonged to the victim. He did 12 years for nothing.
Greg Parsons: His mother Catherine Carroll is killed in her St. John's Newfoundland home in 1991. Her son, Greg Parsons, is convicted of her murder in 1994. He was exonerated by DNA evidence and formally acquitted in 1998. A childhood friend of Parsons, Brian Doyle, was later charged with murder. Doyle was sentenced to life in prison. Gregory Parsons gets a compensation of $1.3M
Gillian Guess: the juror who had an affair with an accused man during his murder trial, portrayed herself in court as being romantically stalked by him. "I just felt like ... he was always there," said Guess. She says "I know this is going to sound really bizarre, because it is". The accused murderer was acquitted by the jury of which she was a member. Gillian Guess now faces jail time. She lost her appeals.
Rocco Galati: Immigration lawyer quits cases over death threats. "I'm not on the verge of tears for my safety" says Galati. "....because it means we now live in Colombia, because the rule of law is meaningless. It means that lawyers cannot represent anyone even in what you profess to be a democracy here in Canada."
Steven Truscott: The raped and strangled body of Lynne Harper, 12, is found near Clinton, Ontario in June 1959. Three months later, Steven Truscott, then 14, is convicted and sentenced to hang. 1969: His death sentence was commutted and he spent 10 years in prison before being released and begins a long campaign for vindication. 2000: He asks the federal government for a formal review. In 2006 the Ontario Court of Appeal begins reviewing Truscott's conviction. In 2008 he gets $6.5M. Steven Truscott is the youngest death-row inmate.
Jason Dix was entrapped by an RCMP "Mr. Big" sting. He spent nearly two years in jail on murder charges that were later dismissed. Dix won a lawsuit, $756K, against the RCMP and Crown lawyers for malicious prosecution, false imprisonment and breach of rights. Justice Keith Ritter wrote "The defendants [police, prosecutor] are, quite simply, legally cloaked in malice" using tactics the judge called "dangerous", "deplorable" and "reprehensible".
* some are an aggregate across the site and/or a theme
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