Monday, November 26, 2012

John Salmon: Canada's top court re-opens manslaughter conviction after 41-years following fresh look by three pathologists. Toronto Star.

STORY: "Supreme Court orders 41-year-old manslaughter conviction reopened," by reporter Peter Small, published in the Toronto Star, on October 26, 2012.

PHOTO CAPTION:  John Frederick Salmon could be the next Canadian found to have been wrongly convicted. The Supreme Court has agreed to reopen the case after three pathologists concluded the original pathologist's finding was incorrect.

GIST: "The Supreme Court of Canada has ordered the Ontario Court of Appeal to re-examine the case of a man convicted 41 years ago of killing his common-law partner. Three pathologists have taken a fresh look at the manslaughter conviction of John (Jack) Salmon, concluding Maxine Ditchfield, 28, did not die from a blow to the head during brutal beatings, as the jury heard, but by a stroke. The three pathologists say it’s likely the stroke was caused by a series of falls at her Woodstock home and in the kitchen of a nearby farmhouse after a night of heavy drinking. Toronto lawyer James Lockyer applied to the Supreme Court to direct the appeal court consider the new evidence and decide whether Salmon’s conviction was a miscarriage of justice. The Court ruled in his client’s favour Thursday, giving no reasons. Salmon testified, at his 1971 trial in Woodstock, that he never assaulted the mother of three, as alleged, but noticed in the days before her death she slept a great deal and kept stumbling and falling.
A jury found him guilty nonetheless, and he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. His appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal was dismissed in 1972. He was granted parole two years later. Now a 72-year-old married grandfather living in Orillia, Salmon has always maintained his innocence and told the Star last year that he had loved Ditchfield. He could not be reached for comment Friday."

The entire story can be found at:


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The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

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