|Intro||Wrongfully convicted person|
Guy Paul Morin is a Canadian who was wrongly convicted of the October 1984 rape and murder of his nine-year-old next-door neighbour, Christine Jessop of Queensville, north of Toronto, Ontario. DNA testing led to a subsequent overturning of this verdict. As of 2014, no one else has been charged with Jessop's murder.
Murder of Christine Jessop
On 3 October 1984, Jessop was dropped off at her home from her school bus with both of her parents out. She was last seen by the owner of a nearby convenience store where she had gone to buy bubble gum. Her body was discovered on 31 December, nearly three months later. She had been sexually assaulted and murdered.
Morin was arrested for Jessop's murder in April 1985. He was later acquitted at his first trial in 1986. The Crown exercised its right to appeal the verdict on the grounds that the trial judge made a fundamental error prejudicing the Crown's right to a fair trial. In 1987 the Court of Appeal ordered a new trial. The retrial was delayed until 1992 by Morin's own appeals based on the Crown's non-disclosure of exculpatory evidence and by other issues, including the double jeopardy rule.
Morin was convicted at his second trial and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Unlike others convicted of murdering children after sexually abusing them, he was kept in the general population throughout his time in prison. Up until his release, he was held at Kingston Penitentiary.
Acquittal and aftermath
Improvements in DNA testing led to a test in 1995 which excluded Morin as the murderer. Morin's appeal of his conviction was allowed (i.e., the conviction was reversed), and a directed verdict of acquittal entered in the appeal.
An inquiry culminating in the Kaufman Report into Morin's case also uncovered evidence of police and prosecutorial misconduct, and of misrepresentation of forensic evidence by the Ontario Centre of Forensic Sciences. Morin received $1.25 million in compensation from the Ontario government.
Christine Jessop’s murderer is still unknown.