News 06.07.11

Canadian Woman Finally Cleared After 13 Years in Prison

Tammy Marquardt walked out of an Ontario courtroom fully free for the first time since 1995. Before she was cleared, however, a Superior Court judge offered her an apology.

“I appreciate that my words today may seem inadequate,” Justice Michael Brown told Marquardt after the Crown withdrew the murder charge that had accused her of killing her two-year-old son.

“But I offer to you, Ms. Marquardt, my deepest expression of regret for all you gave endured as a result of the miscarriage of justice in this case. Nothing I can say to you today will repair the damage that has been caused to you.”

Marquardt, 38, told reporters outside the courtroom that her “nightmare is finally over.” She served 13 years in prison before being released on parole two years ago. She was cleared with the help of the Association in Defense of the Wrongly Convicted, a Toronto based organization and a member of the Innocence Network. AIDWYC has represented several people who were wrongfully convicted based on false testimony from a former medical examiner, Charles Smith, whose work has been discredited in recent years.  Smith testified that Marquardt’s son had been strangled or suffocated when evidence instead showed that he died of an epileptic seizure.


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