Tammy Marquardt, mother cleared of murder, freed – A reminder of the fallibility of our justice system

Tammy Marquardt freed

* CBC News (with video), “Murder charge against mother dropped – Tammy Marquardt spent 13 years in prison after discredited testimony

“Charges have been withdrawn against an Ontario woman who spent 13 years in jail after being convicted of killing her toddler — in part because of evidence from now-disgraced pathologist Dr. Charles Smith.

Tammy Marquardt was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of her two-year-old son Kenneth Wynne in 1995.

But the conviction was based on evidence from pathologist Charles Smith, who was recently stripped of his medical licence for professional misconduct and incompetence. He testified at Marquardt’s trial that Kenneth was strangled or suffocated, when the toddler had actually died of an epileptic seizure.

Earlier this year, the Court of Appeal for Ontario quashed Marquardt’s second-degree murder conviction, calling her a victim of a miscarriage of justice and ordering a new trial.

Marquardt said nothing could be done to compensate for what Smith has done.

“I don’t think that anything could vindicate,” Marquardt told reporters outside an Oshawa court. “He has to live in his own personal hell and so there’s nothing that really that I or anyone else could do.

“I would ask him what he thought he was doing and who he thought he was and why, why did he do it? What possessed you to play God?””

* Toronto Sun (with video), “Wrongly convicted 17 years ago, woman finally freed

* Montreal Gazette, “Mother cleared of murder – 13 years in prison; Pathologist’s faulty testimony led to verdict

* CP, “Crown withdraws murder charge against Charles Smith victim

“Shortly after Tammy Marquardt was sent to prison in 1995 in the death of her two-year-old son, she had the word “freedom” tattooed on her arm.
But it wasn’t until Tuesday that she could truly say she was free.”

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