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Transcript of Robert Baltovich
Victim: Elizabeth Bain
Accused: Robert Baltovich
Charge: charged with first-degree murder, found guilty of second degree murder and given a life sentence
Timeline of facts cont.
Summer 1990: various searches for the body
November 19, 1990: Baltovich arrested
June 18, 1990 (12am) : Suzanna Nadon
June 19, 1990 (5:40pm) : Marianne Perz
June 22, 1990 (6am) : David Dibben
March 21, 1992 : Jury finds Baltovich guilty of 2nd degree murder and he is sentenced to life.
Timeline of Facts
June 19, 1990:
4pm - Elizabeth leaves home to go to campus
7am - Elizabeth is reported missing
What happened between 4pm and 7am
- crowns stance
- defense stance
Factors Contributing to Wrongful Conviction
1. Police Misconduct
2. Charge to the Jury
3. Eyewitness Testimony
June 22 - 24th, 1990
- Elizabeths car shows up at an auto body shop
- Baltovich is questioned and put under surveillance
role of police
issues of transparency
Baltovich's presence at Bains class
Cathy Bains testimony
Charge to the Jury
possibility of suicide
issue of motive
Davids Dibbens testimony
Eyewitness testimony frailties
Why do judges do this?
leading cause of wrongful convictions
"Seeing is believing" phenomenon
Jury gives undue weight
Eyewitness: Marianne Perz
use of hypnosis
line up identification
never concluded that it was Baltovich
Eyewitness: David Dibbens
amount of attention given to the driver
change in story
Eyewitness: Suzanne Nadon
hypnosis also used
obstruction of view
never heard content of conversation
changes in description of the car
May 1992: Baltovich hires a new lawyer who files an appeal. His notice cites 22 reasons for why the conviction should be set aside. Baltovich is denied bail pending his appeal.
May 16, 1996: Baltovich’s lawyers file materials with the Court of Appeal, which was an envelope containing “fresh evidence”
Feb 1997: The appeal postponed.
March 31, 2000: Released on bail pending an appeal of his March 31, 1993 conviction.
September 20: Court of Appeal begins a hearing into the conviction
December 2, 2004: Court of Appeal sets aside conviction and orders a new trial. Court rules that trial judges charge to the jury was unfair and unbalanced and contained significant legal errors that were prejudicial.
July 15, 2005: Attorney General announces that Baltovich will face a new trial.
April 22, 2008: Found not guilty by Toronto Jury on the first day of his 2nd trial and he was acquitted.
hy did the wrongful conviction occur
public pressure on police
lack of transparency
impartial trial judge
flawed eyewitness testimony
By: Josh Obress, Cole Jackson, Karolina Kopylec