Friday, October 03, 2008

Canadian sues for $12M over wrongful conviction

I hope he bankrupts the SOBs. Negligent forensic science is an enormous threat to justice

A Canadian man wrongly convicted of raping and murdering his 4-year-old niece filed a $12 million lawsuit Thursday against the disgraced pathologist whose testimony played a key role in sending him to prison. The suit filed by William Mullins-Johnson names Dr. Charles Smith as well as former Ontario chief coroner James Young and his deputy, Jim Cairns.

Mullins-Johnson was convicted in 1994 of sexually assaulting and fatally strangling his niece, but evidence later surfaced showing the girl died of natural causes. The Ontario Court of Appeal quashed his conviction in 2007 and acquitted him.

In his statement of claim filed in Ontario Superior Court, Mullins-Johnson argues the defendants were negligent and reckless in their conduct. "William has suffered loss of liberty, humiliation and disgrace," it says. The lawsuit came a day after Justice Stephen Goudge released a report severely criticizing Smith, Young and Cairns for their roles in several wrongful prosecutions.

The report found Smith, once viewed as a leading expert in pediatric forensics, actually had little expertise, rarely visited crime scenes and had sloppy work practices that led to questionable findings in at least 20 cases. Young and Cairns were accused in the report of failing to properly oversee Smith's actions and covering for him when his findings were questioned by others.

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today)

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