Milgaard Inquiry

Friday, January 20, 2006

Peter Carlyle-Gordge always questioned Cadrain's sanity

Journalist Peter Carlyle-Gordge has been testifying this week. According to CBC News, Carlyle-Gordge suspected that something was strange about Albert Cadrain from the get-go. No surprise there, considering the fact that Cadrain told police that he thought that David was a member of the Mafia!

Peter also told the hearing that he was surprised that the Crown managed to convict Milgaard based on the "timing, geography and motive,", since all were off.

Peter Carlyle-Gordge wrote a story back in 1982 intimating that David may have been convicted based on perjury. He recognized that he was putting himself in an awkward position by making such a strong statement without firm corroboration.

In fact, Chris Boychuck, lawyer representing Saskatoon detective Eddy Karst, asked Carlyle-Gordge this week if he had been willing to lie in order to garner attention for the case. Peter responded that the whole Milgaard case was based on lies!

Touche. Peter Carlyle-Gordge spent many years working on the Milgaard case during his free time. Although he was a correspondent for Maclean's from 1978 to 1983, he was never able to convince the magazine run a story on Milgaard during that period of time.

Carlyle-Gordge said that he truly thought that police had approached witnesses and told them not to talk to Milgaard's supporters. He didn't realize at the time that he was writing his articles that police contacted witnesses at Joyce Milgaard's request to see if they would speak to her.

Sigrid Mac

P. S. Please note that Peter Carlyle-Gordge follows this blog occasionally and made comments here in December about Justice MacCallum insisting on David's testimony.

An informant

Yesterday, the inquiry heard interesting news from a former police officer in Saskatoon. Tom Vanin was a detective staff sergeant in the 1990s. He never really believed that David Milgaard was guilty, so over the years, he gave information to Milgaard's lawyers in order to help them reopen the case. Vanin said that he thought that it was his duty as a police officer and also as a Christian to help set an innocent man free.

He claimed protection under the Canada Evidence Act, which "prevents witness testimony at a public inquiry from being used against the witness at a civil or criminal proceeding," according to CBC news.

Sigrid Mac

Monday, January 16, 2006

Inquiry Resumes

The Milgaard Inquiry resumed today after a six-week break. David's lawyer, Hersh Wolch, informed the Commissioner that David would be willing to testify if certain arrangements were made to reduce the overall stress on Dave. One way that David could testify would be in print; questions could be posed to him and he could reply in writing. Hersh also reminded the hearing that over the decades, David has answered multiple questions and they are all on record and accessible.

CBC News said that the first witness who is scheduled to speak is British-born, freelance writer Peter Carlyle-Gordge. Peter has written for innumerable publications including the Winnipeg Free Press: he was also a producer for CBC radio in Winnipeg. As one of the first journalists to take Joyce's story seriously back in 1980, Peter and his wife were great supporters of the Milgaards over the years.

Apparently, there are still 29 witnesses on the list who may testify. Former Justice Minister, Kim Campbell, is not among them. It will be interesting to see if Campbell is called at the last minute. She certainly played a key role in delaying justice for Milgaard.

Sigrid Mac

Friday, January 13, 2006

David will testify!

My latest Yahoo alerts tell me that Dave will testify in some protected fashion. H. Wolch has suggested that Dave be interviewed in a separate room or answer questions in writing. We'll see what MacCallum thinks of that when the hearings resume on Monday.

Not Everyone Who Claims to Be Wrongly Convicted Is Innocent

Centurion Ministries, an organization in New Jersey that worked steadfastly for years to determine David Milgaard's innocence, was disappointed to learn that the most recent man that they have been fighting for -- Ronald Coleman -- was indeed guilty of the crimes for which he had been convicted.

Coleman was an interesting precedence case because he was executed on Death Row in Virginia back in 1992. He went out protesting his innocence and Centurion Ministries took on his cause. One of the things that they wanted to prove was that the United States had inadvertently executed innocent men along the way. This would have helped to erode support for the death penalty, which is shared by approximately 64% of Americans, according to a Gallup poll. This is down from 80% who believed in the penalty in 1994.

Advocates against the death penalty and for the wrongly convicted were saddened to learn that Coleman's DNA matched the semen inside his sister-in-law, Wanda McCoy, who was raped and stabbed to death in 1981.

James Lockyer, one of the founders of AIDWYC, said: At least we found out the truth and that must be of some satisfaction to the family of the deceased, the Toronto Star reported.

Clearly, Coleman was not able to foresee the accuracy of the miraculous technology that we have today. Perhaps if he had known that he would have been caught in such a bold lie, he might not have protested his innocence and wasted precious time and energy on the part of his supporters. Nevertheless, just because one man who claimed that he was wrongly convicted was not, doesn't mean that there aren't countless men and women behind bars who don't deserve to be there.

Sigrid Mac

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