Lockyer to explore wrongful convictions at lecture

James Lockyer, founding director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted, will deliver a public talk, Must there always be wrongful convictions?, at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10 in Western Law’s Moot Court Room.

The lawyer and prominent social activist is speaking as part of Western Law’s Distinguished Speaker Series. All are welcome to attend.

Lockyer has been involved in exposing more than 10 wrongful convictions in Canada, including those of Guy Paul Morin, David Milgaard and Clayton Johnson, three homicide cases in which post-conviction DNA testing resulted in exonerations.

He took a lead in fighting for a review of the Steven Truscott case. In 1959, Truscott was convicted and sentenced to death at age 14 for the murder of 12-year-old Lynne Harper in Goderich, Ont. His death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment and he was released on parole in 1969. In 2007, the Court of Appeal quashed Truscott’s 48-year-old conviction and entered an acquittal.

Currently, Lockyer is working on the case of Robert Baltovich, wrongly convicted in 1992 in Toronto of the murder of his girlfriend, Elizabeth Bain. The Ontario Court of Appeal quashed Baltovich’s conviction in November 2004 and he is now awaiting a new trial.

Lockyer taught law at McGill University and at the University of Windsor until 1977, when he went into private practice as a criminal lawyer.