Steven Truscott is certainly not the first convicted killer to try and clear his name, and some of those who’ve come before him have been successful.
Truscott decided to emerge from the shadows of anonymity in 2000 to prove his innocence and the Association in Defence of the Wrongfully Convicted, which helped exonerate Guy Paul Morin and David Milgaard, took up his case.
Here’s a look at some cases of wrongful convictions in Canada:
This is probably one of the most famous cases in Canadian history. David Milgaard was convicted of murdering 22-year-old nursing assistant Gail Miller in 1969 in Saskatoon.
Miller was raped and stabbed to death.
Milgaard was released from prison in 1992 and due to evidence obtained from DNA testing arranged by the Association in Defence of the Wrongfully Convicted, he was exonerated in 1997.
Milgaard’s mother played a big role in this case. After he was denied parole in 1979 she began to uncover evidence of false testimony and police malpractice, according to AIDWYC. She also came across information that suggested that Larry Fisher, who’d been convicted for a series of sex assaults, could be responsible for the crime.
The DNA testing that proved Milgaard’s innocence also convicted Fisher. Milgaard spent 23 years in prison for the crime.
Guy Paul Morin
Morin was given a life sentence in 1992 for the murder of nine-year-old Christine Jessop, who disappeared from her home in Queensville, Ont. home in 1984. She was sexually assaulted and murdered.
DNA testing proved Morin’s innocence and he was exonerated in 1995.
Sophonow was convicted of the 1983 murder of Barbara Stoppel. He was convicted in 1985. The Manitoba Court of Appeal acquitted him in 1985 and in 2000 Winnipeg police announced that DNA had exonerated him. He received $2.6 million in compensation.
Donald Marshall Jr.
At the age of 17 Marshall was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Sandy Seale.
The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal acquitted him in 1983 and a Royal Commission was established to question the prosecution of the case. A 1990 inquiry was also held to investigate the judges that heard the case.
Marshall received $250,000 in compensation from the government of Nova Scotia as compensation for his wrongful conviction. He spent 11 years in jail.
For a look at other cases in which convicted criminals are fighting to clear their names, click here.