From Thursday's Globe and Mail Published on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010 11:23AM EST Last updated on Friday, Apr. 23, 2010 10:29AM EDT
Attorney-General Chris Bentley announced Wednesday that the Ontario government will not pay compensation to Robert Baltovich, who spent 18 years under a cloud before his conviction for murdering his girlfriend was overturned, or to Anthony Hanemaayer, who served his entire jail sentence for a sex attack only to be exonerated after serial killer Paul Bernardo confessed to it.
Even though the justice system failed both men, the harm done to them is not at all comparable to what Steven Truscott endured, Mr. Bentley said in explaining why the government is denying the men's requests for compensation.
Mr. Truscott's story dates back to an era when capital punishment was still on the books and has become part of Canadian folklore. He was awarded $6.5-million – a record in Ontario – after a 2007 Appeal Court decision that he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice.
Mr. Truscott had fought for decades to clear his name in the death of Lynne Harper, his 12-year-old classmate, in 1959. His death sentence was commuted and he served 10 years in prison, where psychiatrists gave him LSD and sodium pentothal in an apparent attempt to elicit a confession.
“Most people recognize that that was an extremely unusual, once-in-a-lifetime situation,” Mr. Bentley said.
But he said it would not be appropriate to compensate Mr. Baltovich and Mr. Hanemaayer because the “rare and unusual” circumstances that characterize the Truscott affair don't apply to them.
James Lockyer, a lawyer for the two men, said the government's decision flies in the face of conventional thinking in Canada that the state should compensate those who have been wrongly convicted and imprisoned.
Mr. Lockyer said the government is setting the bar too high if it is going to measure every request for compensation in a wrongful conviction against the Truscott case.
“It's awful public policy and a complete abrogation of ministerial responsibility,” Mr. Lockyer said. “The Attorney-General is just demonstrating an extraordinary indifference to people who have been wrongly convicted of crimes.”
New Democrat justice critic Peter Kormos said the government is sending a message by forcing the two men to seek redress in the civil courts – a move both are considering: “Don't expect to be protected by our criminal justice system. Similarly, don't expect to be compensated if you're harmed by it.”
Mr. Baltovich, now 43, was sentenced in 1992 to life in prison after being found guilty of killing Elizabeth Bain, who was 22 when she vanished in June, 1990. She failed to return home from a class at the University of Toronto, and her body has not been found.
Ontario's top court quashed Mr. Baltovich's conviction and ordered a new trial after he spent nine years in prison. The Crown dropped its prosecution in 2008 minutes after his second trial began, and he was found not guilty. The move did not leave him completely vindicated, and the parents of Ms. Bain still believe he is guilty.
Mr. Hanemaayer, now 42, spent two years in jail after he pleaded guilty partway through his trail to avoid a longer sentence for the 1987 assault of a 15-year-old Toronto girl.
Mr. Hanemaayer, 19, was a roofer at the time. It was the mother of the girl who identified Mr. Hanemaayer, and her testimony formed the entire case against him. He learned of Mr. Bernardo's confession to the crime in 2007, when lawyers preparing to defend Mr. Baltovich stumbled across the information.
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
If you are a victim of injustice, there is one person who is going to make
you very angry and that is our Ontario Attorney-General Chris Bentley who is the
face of the government who act like the dirty legal cartel that they are and use
any means to deny liability.
Its the same as the legal profession avoiding almost all claims for legal liability by using "Law Pro" who, have unlimited amounts of cash and the lawyers who will fight as dirty as can be to get rid of any law suit against a lawyer.
Ontario wages a war against men, they have a set of Laws specifically designed to remove legal rights and to make sure legal rights are abused.
Its a form of male gender apartheid, its male sharia law and if there is a public face to that public enemy number one its the Ontario Attorney-General Chris Bentley who is thoroughly despised.
To top if off, our judicial selection process has NO SCREENING for psychological factors, it means those with the most severe personality disorders and desire for absolute power are those who know how to get appointed to the bench.
One essential criteria for being selected for the Ontario Judiciary is to have a pathological hatred of men, and to display bias in favour of the extreme feminists.
Those judges who demonstrate the most hatred towards men get appointed to the Appeal Court of Ontario and up there, if you really do a bang up job of demonstrating the most bias against men, you will be the Madam of the Clubhouse and promoted to the Supreme court of Canada. That honour is currently held by Madam Justice Feldman who has more judgments against men than any other judge in the Ontario Court of appeal.
If you spend enough time at the Supreme Court of Canada destroying men, you can acctually go back to the Court of Appeal of Ontario for yet another stint at destroying men and ensuring that they are second class citizens.
Such is the injustice in Ontario. its enough to make you want to puke.
Baltovich is a symptom of a sick society that has the mentality of a lynch
mob hell bent on revenge.
Its that sick mentality that is promoted by the most cowardly members of society, the Federal members of Parliament who prey upon the public's fear of crime and who demand and get increasingly legislation that removes judicial discretion and feeds the billions of dollars in vested business interests from those who run the jails, and profit in every way from the criminal justice system.
Its those dollars that should have been spent on prevention rather than revenge.
Readers should note that this injustice occurred even though Baltovitch had a
Spare a thought for Peter Roscoe and the thousands of other Ontario Fathers who NEVER get a trial because Dead Beat Judges remove any ability to have a trial, these fathers are then indefinitely incarcerated without ever having a trial or even the semblance of justice.
For this you can thank the Dead Beat Judges of Ontario who are very very well known for their roles in corrupt decisions that mean children grow up never knowing that they have a father.
If you walk into any court room in Ontario, you can literally feel the hatred towards men oozing out of the court room walls.
Particular court rooms with a very bad odour are those run by Robertson and Aitken in Ottawa. The very worst of the worst is none other than Justice Allan Sheffield.
The Ontario Government is on the hook for a hell of lot more than Baltovitch.
Every day across Ontario, thousands of men have their children's rights removed for ever, simply to pander the the political correctness of extreme feminists. This injustice is done blatantly, flagrantly by "the underbelly of the Ontario Judiciary" who are very very well known.
There are literally thousands of men who deserve compensation for injustice and the Ontario Government operates injustice like a business, a very corrupt business run by a cartel, called the Underbelly of the Ontario Judiciary.
Remember, it takes a Dead Beat Judge to Create a Dead Beat Dad and Real Crime Starts in Family Court
(Quote thanks to Stacy Rob)