William Mullins-Johnson was convicted in 1994 for raping and murdering his four-year-old niece. After serving 12 years in prison, it was concluded that the girl died of natural causes. The provincial government announced $4.25 million in compensation
The Ontario government announced on Thursday that it will financially compensate Mullins-Johnson for his wrongful conviction in 1994, according to the Globe and Mail.
Attorney General Chris Bentley announced that it will pay $4.25 million to Mullins-Johnson under the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Guidelines for Compensation of the Wrongfully Convicted.
“On behalf of the Government of Ontario, I offer my deepest and most sincere apologies to Mr. Mullins-Johnson and his family for the miscarriage of justice that occurred and the pain they had to endure,” said Bentley. “Mr. Mullins-Johnson has been working hard to rebuild his life and we wish him well as he continues that process.”
City News reports that Mullins-Johnson’s conviction was partly due to the testimony of pathologist Dr. Charles Smith, who is now being sued by Mullins-Johnson, plus several other doctors.
Meanwhile, Smith is testifying in another case where two women are being convicted of murdering their newborn babies.
The provincial Opposition parties are already taking aim at the Ontario government, reports CTV News.
“I'm really pleased that it's over for Mr. Mullins-Johnson. It took a long time -- too long in my opinion. It's sad that it's taken this long to come to this,” said Progress Conservative critic Ted Chudleigh.
Furthermore, the New Democrats said the government should compensate other victims of Smith quicker: “There are numerous people that are still waiting that have been injured in this process that were victims of Dr. Smith, and they need to have some closure, they need to have their compensation dealt with,” said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.