Innocence Canada reviews innocence claims arising from every region in Canada and specifically focuses its investigations on finding new and significant evidence that could help to advance cases of innocence. Innocence Canada’s team of volunteer lawyers review cases on a pro bono basis and work together to exonerate the innocent.
Innocence Canada maintains relationships with approximately 30 Active Case Reviewers. These pro bono lawyers work with Innocence Canada staff lawyers to review potential cases of wrongful conviction, and assist in creating the plan for finding new and significant evidence.
Please note that Innocence Canada would always like to hear from criminal defence counsel interested in reviewing a case. If you are a defence lawyer who has the motivation to make a time commitment for a review of one of our challenging cases, please visit our Volunteer page to learn how you can get involved.
Case Management Statistics
Innocence Canada maintains case management statistics to keep track of case progress and to monitor potential trends. Note that the statistics that follow are current to April 16, 2018. Of the 81 cases currently under review, sixteen have been adopted by Innocence Canada Board of Directors.
Innocence Canada's criteria for adopting cases of wrongful conviction are as follows:
Innocence Canada's primary objective is to uncover and set aside wrongful convictions. Once satisfied that a person has been wrongly convicted of a serious crime, Innocence Canada will adopt his or her case. This means that:
- Innocence Canada will adopt a case when satisfied that an individual who has been convicted of a serious crime did not commit that crime and is actually innocent.
- In some cases, establishing innocence may be elusive and unattainable for the convicted person. For example, the passage of time will sometimes mean that he or she can no longer find evidence that once existed. Innocence Canada will adopt a case when satisfied that it falls into this category if the applicant has been convicted of a serious crime, has exhausted all appellate remedies, and Innocence Canada is satisfied that he or she is the victim of a miscarriage of justice and is likely innocent.
Geographical Distribution of Cases under Review
|Geographical Distribution of Cases under Review||Number of Cases||% of Caseload|
|Total Cases under Review||81||100%|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||2||2%|
|Prince Edward Island||0||0%|
Distribution of Cases under Review by Type of Conviction
|Type of Conviction||Number of Cases|
|Total Cases Currently Under Review||81|
|First Degree Murder||34|
|Second Degree Murder||33|
|Other Serious Crimes||3|