The Wrongful Conviction of Canadian, Guy Paul Morin
On January 23, 1995 Guy Paul Morin was exonerated of a first-degree murder conviction of Christine Jessop, ten years after his arrest and two lengthy criminal trials. This is a case where the justice system failed at all levels and has left the Ontario courts asking how it happened.
On October 3, 1984 nine year old Christine Jessop was abducted from her home in Queensville, Ontario. Her body was found three months later, fifty five kilometers east of her home, raped and stabbed to death (Fennell, 1997).
In the weeks following the discovery of Christine's body, the police revealed several strong suspects but no direct evidence linking anybody. Shortly thereafter they began to focus on Morin, solely because of his "strange behaviour" (Chisholm, 1995). Police became even more suspicious when Morin failed to attend the funeral - he thought he had to be invited (Chisholm, 1995). This series of circumstantial evidence became further plagued with errors and tainted testimony as his trials wore on. Right from the start there exist a prejudice towards Morin. Police convinced the Jessop's to perjure themselves so that evidence would stick. When brought in for questioning, the interrogation was audio taped for corroboration. The tape ran out after forty-five minutes and Fitzpatrick and Shephard testified that in the remaining ninety minutes Morin confessed to the killing and repeatedly made guilty comments (King, 1998).
The prosecution suffered from staggering tunnel vision in Morin's guilt. Their entire case for both trials was built on a few arguably points. There was the "evidence" of Morin's opportunity to commit the crime, the supposed confessions during interrogation, hair and fibre evidence supported be perjured forensic scientists, perjured testimony of the Jessops', the alleged confession of Morin to his two cellmates, and other citizens with similar testimony (King, 1998). The defence's testimony about Morin's schedule the day of the abduction became his sole alibi, and the ultimate reason for the initial verdict of not guilty. The Crown used the in accurate directions of the judge to the jury about reasonable doubt to appeal the case and the second trial was based on the same testimonies (King, 1998). This time Morin was found guilty. Under cross-examination Jack Pinkofsky, the defence attorney, also managed to get one jail informant to admit that he was a chronic liar and had received a deal on his own sentencing for testifying...