150+ Canadians Day 26: Innocence Canada

Innocence Canada contributes to peace by working to exonerate those convicted of crimes they did not commit. #Canada150

The Association in Defense of the Wrongly Convicted, now known as Innocence Canada, was founded in 1993 as a successor organization of the Justice for Guy Paul Morin Committee.  The group has secured the exoneration of twenty wrongfully convicted persons.

The organization works to identify and advocate for the wrongfully convicted and to prevent wrongful convictions through legal education and reform. The majority of  legal work is done by lawyers for free. The organization estimates that, annually, lawyers across the country donate $3.5 million in pro-bono work.

2016 was a challenging year and, for the first time, they were temporarily unable to accept new cases for a few months. We are happy to hear they are now back on track accepting new applicants! You can view a full list of those who have been exonerated as a result of Innocence Canada’s work on their website.

Without Innocence Canada, I would not have had my name cleared.  Innocence Canada is an essential organization that not only provided hope, freedom and emotional support to me and my family but to countless other people convicted of crimes they did not commit.   As long as Innocence Canada exists, there is reassurance that the Charter Rights of Canadian people will not be overlooked.”

Maria Shepherd, who was acquitted on February 29, 2016