Review Of A Case: Guy Paul Morin
Imagine being wrongfully accused, not once, but twice, in your life. A man by the name of Guy Paul Morin can say that he has. Morin spent a total of 18 months in prison, as well as 10 years of his life living with the stigma from a crime he didn’t commit: The murder of a nine-year-old girl. While all eyes were on Morin, the actual killer walked free the entire time.
A wrongful conviction is something that can and has happened more than once. Morin’s situation is just one of many that should have never had to happen in the first place.
Nine-year-old Christine Jessop disappeared on October 3, 1984. It wasn’t until December 31 that same year that her body had been found over 50 KM from her home. All signs showed that she had been murdered.
From the time of her disappearance to her funeral on January 7, 1985, Guy Paul Morin was living his life. He was a quiet man who worked for a furniture manufacturing firm, enjoyed beekeeping, and loved playing clarinet and saxophone.
What put Morin on the police’s suspect list was nothing more than a comment made about him being a “weird-type guy”. Morin was questioned, and at no point did he say anything that could have been taken as a confession. This didn’t stop authorities from setting up surveillance of his home. Once his timecard from his job was obtained, it would prove that it would have been impossible for him to have committed the murder during the time frame.
Authorities kept Morin on the top of their suspect list. He was arrested on April 25, 1985, and was subject to blood, hair, and saliva samples that he willingly gave.
The First Trial
Wrongful evidence was placed against Moring during his first trial in January 1986. The evidence included:
- A hair stuck to Christine’s necklace
- Hair in Morin’s car that matched Christine’s
- A number of fibres on Christine’s clothes from Morin’s home or car
In addition, two of Morin’s cellmates testified. One claimed that Morin admitted to killing the girl, while the other did not.
Despite all the falsified evidence, the Jury voted not guilty, and Morin was free. But this would only be the beginning of his struggle.
The Second Trial
On March 4, 1986, an appeal was launched on Morin’s acquittal, and a retrial was scheduled. The new trial shared much of the same false evidence, as well as new witnesses that made false claims about Morin and painted him as a questionable individual.
On July 30, 1992, Morin was found guilty of first-degree murder.
Thanks to the help of an organization that believed in his innocence and the news media, a book, and a CBC Fifth Estate investigation, doubts were formed about the fairness of the retrial. On February 9, 1993, Morin was released on bail pending his appeal.
Using more advanced technology, DNA samples were taken from Morin again to verify if he could have been the killer. The DNA was found to be inconsistent with the samples found on Christine’s clothing, leading to Morin’s innocence.
Morin’s conviction was overturned, he was compensated with $1.25 million, and the Ontario government struck a public inquiry into the mishandling of justice and recommended systemic changes.
It wasn’t until October 15, 2020, that Calvin Hoover, a family friend of Christine Jessop’s parents, was identified as the murderer through advanced DNA testing. Hoover committed suicide in 2015 and will never face justice.
Morin’s case is just one of many that shows how important it is to have dependable representation. If you’re looking for a criminal lawyer in Winnipeg, Matthew Gould is a trained and educated lawyer that’s ready to take on your case.