Thursday, December 6, 2012

Marco Trotta: (Charles Smith case); Defence says disgraced pathologist's "perjury" tainted murder prosecution. Reporter Peter Edwards. Toronto Star.

STORY: "Child killer wants verdict quashed," by reporter Peter Edwards, published in the Toronto Star on December 5, 2012.

GIST: "Ontario’s top court should throw out a guilty verdict against a man twice convicted of battering his baby boy to death because the perjured testimony of disgraced pathologist Dr. Charles Smith irreparably taints the proceedings, his lawyer says. “It’s toxic,” lawyer Timothy Breen argued Wednesday before the Ontario Court of Appeal. “It taints the prosecution in its entirety and the case can’t go forward. . . . The system has got its pound of flesh from the appellant.” After a 1998 trial in which Smith testified as an expert witness, Trotta was convicted of second-degree murder, endangering life by committing aggravated assault and aggravated assault in the death of his 8-month-old son, Paolo. The baby was found to have suffered three separate skull fractures and a broken upper arm. Trotta was sentenced to life in prison. Smith stopped performing autopsies in 2001 after serious questions about the quality of his work. A public inquiry determined that his testimony led to wrongful convictions of several people accused of killing small children.........He was convicted of manslaughter at his second trial in 2009. His new sentence was nine years in prison, which he had already served. Breen argued the second trial never should have taken place and that it’s difficult to imagine a worse case of state misconduct. He noted that the coroner’s office covered up Smith’s perjury rather than expose it. “This is almost inconceivable but we know it happened,” Breen argued..........Crown Attorney Alison Wheeler argued that Trotta was correctly found guilty at his second trial on the merit of the evidence. Wheeler said it’s opportunistic of Trotta to claim to be a victim of Smith. She accused him of trying to get a “windfall” stay of his guilty verdict because of Smith’s disgraced reputation. “The label of victim does not sit well on the appellant,” Wheeler argued. “The only victim here is Paolo.” The key issue is whether it was fair to order a new trial for Trotta, Wheeler said, adding it would violate society’s fundamental sense of justice if the baby’s death went unprosecuted. “There’s no abuse of process here,” Wheeler said. The Ontario Court of Appeal judges panel reserved its decision."

The entire story can be found at:


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The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.