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Thursday, 9 August, 2007

Dr Charles Smith inquiry gets underway

Embattled pediatric forensic pathologist Dr Charles Smith (right), who allegedly put a number of innocent people in jail after he gave inaccurate testimony as an expert witness in 20 cases in Ontario from 1991 to 2001, is the subject of a provincial inquiry ordered by premier Dalton McGuinty.

Eleven individuals or groups -- including Dr Smith himself -- have registered with inquiry commissioner Justice Stephen Goudge to testify at the hearings.

According to , the inquiry has a broader scope than just looking at Dr Smith:

The inquiry will examine the state of pediatric forensic pathology in Ontario and its practice and use in investigations and criminal proceedings between 1981 and 2001.

While the inquiry will examine the cases individually, Goudge has said he will not "correct errors in specific cases," provide financial compensation to any victims, or offer any conclusions or recommendations regarding discipline or criminal liability.

Instead, he will use the individual cases to determine what systemic issues they raise and will then make recommendations to restore public confidence in the pediatric forensic pathology profession.

The inquiry will submit recommendations to Ontario's attorney general by April 25, 2008.

You can read about the Dr Smith case in . The CBC , as did . A lawsuit was launched in Ontario against him in May, .


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