The Canadian case I selected in which a wrongful conviction occurred was of Robert Baltovich. In 1992 Baltovich was wrongfully convicted of the murder of his girlfriend Elizabeth Bain and he was sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for the next 17 years (Innocence Canada, 2016). This case took place in Scarborough, Ontario and Baltovich spent eight years behind bars for a crime he did not do. Baltovich got a retrial and he was finally released on April 22, 2008. Bain’s murder still remains a mystery, her car was found with a bloodstain on the back seat but her body was never discovered.
Sophonow already served his sentence in jail before the truth surfaced. However, thanks to the endeavours of AIDWYC, Thomas Sophonow was given 2.3 million dollars as a repayment for the injustice and traumatic experiences he underwent through this investigation. Furthermore, he was given an apology from the General Attorney of Manitoba. Regrettably, such an experience could never be forgotten. It extensively and permanently damaged Mr. Sophonow.
Throughout the court of Canada there has been many records of wrongfully convictions that have occured. Today we still investigate those cases and why this lead for an wrongful act. Thomas Sophonow, David Milgaard, and James Driskell are three of the many that were wrongfully convicted. They were all imprisoned for murder and served jail time for 5 or more years.
Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong In Brandon L. Garrett 's book, Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong, he makes it very clear how wrongful convictions occur and how these people have spent many years in prison for crimes they never committed. Garrett presents 250 cases of innocent people who were convicted wrongfully because the prosecutors opposed testing the DNA of those convicted. Garrett provided simple statistics such as graphs, percentages, and charts to help the reader understand just how great of an impact this was.
Both sides will carefully weigh the strength of their case and decide whether it is prudent to go to trial. The prosecution may also consider the publicity surrounding the case and whether there is public pressure to prosecute that particular defendant to the full extent of the law. The defense will consider the individual defendant’s desire to go to trial and the seriousness of the potential sentence. The Pros of Plea Bargaining
Furthermore, University of Ottowa criminologist Cheryl Webster has described Canada’s approach to conviction
The second type is called sentence bargaining. Sentence bargaining involves the prosecutor recommending leniency during the sentencing stage. For example, Craig pleads guilty to a misdemeanor petty theft. The prosecutor would likely recommend no jail time for the defendant. (Spohn & Hemmens, 2012)
In our country, the judicial system, being fair and powerful is still very slow. It has always been very crowded. Since the courts are over crowded, prosecutor’s case-loads are over loaded and defendants wants to save time and money, as the result of which an informal and easy way of pre-trail bargaining came into play. Its is known as Plea-Bargaining. Plea Bargaining is defined as the agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant, whereby the defendant agrees to his or her guilt of crime that has been committed in return for some concession from the prosecutor.
A “Plea bargain” is an agreement between the prosecutor, the defendant’s attorney and the defendant. In return for the defendant entering a plea of guilty to a criminal charge, the prosecutor agrees to recommend to the judge a particular penalty. Plea bargaining allows the prosecutor to obtain guilty pleas in cases that might otherwise go to trial. The prosecution is relieved of the burden of proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt at trial and the defendant receives a specific resolution of the charges against him.
There are many reasons for wrongful convictions, in the cases of Ronald Cotton, Christopher Abernathy, and Marvin Anderson, the main evidence that led up to their convictions were eyewitness testimonies. It is sad that people waste so many years of their lives due to false misconstrued information. Therefore, eyewitness testimonies should not be sufficient evidence to make a case. Fortunately, there have been innocent people exonerated and released from prison thanks to DNA testing. People should be cautious when making an eyewitness testimony, they should make sure that they are 100% sure that they are picking the right person.
Luckily, it is known what causes wrongful convictions and how to fix them. Many wrongful convictions are due to mistaken eyewitnesses, jailhouse snitches, or false evidence. I think many of the wrongful convictions could be solved with harder evidence, more information. A case should not rely on a single eye witness but multiple.
All of these components lead to eyewitness error and essentially false incrimination. Secondly, another factor that can contribute to wrongful conviction is the use of jailhouse informants. Campbell & Denov (2016), describe jailhouse informants as prisoner informants that “provide information to law enforcement officials in exchange for money, property, or the promise of leniency in sentencing” (p. 229). This can be problematic because jurors place value on the