Thursday, April 1, 2021

Bulletin: Significant development: Canada is taking another step towards establishing an independent criminal case review commission: The Department of Justice announces establishment of a consultation process including: "provincial and territorial partners, criminal law professionals, victims of crime, Indigenous peoples, Black Canadians and other racialized communities, and organizations that advocate for the wrongfully convicted." Justice Minister David Lametti: "Wrongful convictions are a matter of deep concern to me, and to many Canadians. I am pleased to appoint two distinguished former justices, the Honourable Harry LaForme and the Honourable Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré, to hold public-facing consultations on the creation of an independent Criminal Case Review Commission. These consultations will capture a wide array of perspectives and will help inform a comprehensive, made-in-Canada approach to this issue. This represents an important step forward in the establishment of an independent Criminal Case Review Commission in Canada." (I will be keeping an eye on this process and report back to our readers. H.L.)


PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. 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;
FINAL WORD:  (Applicable to all of our wrongful conviction cases):  "Whenever there is a wrongful conviction, it exposes errors in our criminal legal system, and we hope that this case — and lessons from it — can prevent future injustices."
Lawyer Radha Natarajan:
Executive Director: New England Innocence Project;
FINAL, FINAL WORD (FOR NOW!): "Since its inception, the Innocence Project has pushed the criminal legal system to confront and correct the laws and policies that cause and contribute to wrongful convictions.   They never shied away from the hard cases — the ones involving eyewitness identifications, confessions, and bite marks. Instead, in the course of presenting scientific evidence of innocence, they’ve exposed the unreliability of evidence that was, for centuries, deemed untouchable." So true!
Christina Swarns: Executive Director: The Innocence Project;