Saturday, December 2, 2006

The Inquiry regarding Thomas Sophonow

Table of Contents


The Facts Giving Rise to the Inquiry, the Authorizing Order in Council, its Nature and Scope
Trials and Appeals of Thomas Sophonow
Jurisdiction and Terms of Reference of the Commission of Inquiry
Rules of Practice and Procedure
Factual Background
The Role of Police Officers

Police Interviews With Thomas Sophonow in Vancouver

Interview of Thomas Sophonow by Detective Barnard
Interrogation of Thomas Sophonow by Sergeants Wawryk and Paulishyn


Eyewitness Identification

The Eyewitness Evidence and the Role of Police in Gathering and Presenting It
John Doerksen
Lorraine Janower
Norman Janower
Mildred King
The Experts' Position Regarding Eyewitness Testimony
Peter Neufeld
Elizabeth Loftus
Problems noted by Dr. Loftus in the identification by witnesses in this case
Problems with the photo line-up
Norman Janower
Mildred King
John Doerksen
Present Winnipeg Police Service Procedures
Live line-up
Photo line-up


Live line-up
Photo pack line-up
Trial instructions

Investigation of Terry Arnold as a Suspect

Tunnel vision
Police notebooks
Exhibits - whether filed in court or gathered in the course of the investigation.

The Role of Crown Counsel in the Administration of Justice

The Issue Regarding the Twine

The Evidence Regarding Timing

The Third Trial and the Allegation of Sexual Assault

The Role of Defence Counsel

Alibi Evidence

Timing of the Disclosure of the Alibi
The atmosphere of distrust which existed in 1982 between Crown, Police and Defence Counsel
Police awareness of aspects of the alibi evidence


Jailhouse Informants, Their Unreliability and the Importance of Complete Crown Disclosure Pertaining to Them

Thomas Cheng
Adrian McQuade
Douglas Martin
Findings Regarding the Use of Jailhouse Informants in the Thomas Sophonow Trial
Some General Comments on Jailhouse Informants
U.S. Studies on Jailhouse Informants
What Have the Studies of Jailhouse Informants Revealed?



Relevant and Significant Information about the Jailhouse Informants which Ought to have been Disclosed
Thomas Cheng
Adrian McQuade
Failure to Disclose Relevant Material Regarding John Doerksen
Statements of Eyewitnesses Made Under Hypnosis
Melvin Williamson's Comments to Mr. Lawlor
The Red Mesh Christmas Stockings
The Second Photo Line-up
The McDonald's Witnesses
Esther Navoa
The Peasgood Statement
Present Situation

The Role of the Trial Judge

Conduct of the Trial


Manner of Assessing Compensation for Wrongful Conviction
Entitlement to Compensation
To What Extent Should Thomas Sophonow's Conduct be Found as a Significant Cause of his Problems?
Conduct of the Investigation
On What Basis Should Compensation be Considered?
Fault-based tort actions
False imprisonment
Malicious prosecution
Damages for Charter breaches
Entitlement principles based on factual innocence
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Canada's 1988 Federal-Provincial Guidelines on Compensation for Wrongfully Convicted and Imprisoned Persons
1986 Manitoba Guidelines for Compensation for Wrongfully Convicted and Imprisoned Persons
What Are the Effects of Wrongful Conviction and Imprisonment Which Should be Considered in Determining the Appropriate Compensation?
The fundamental rights which are adversely affected by wrongful conviction and imprisonment
Deprivation of liberty
Damage to reputation
Loss of privacy
Danger of physical assaults
Loss of enjoyment of life
Continuing effects of imprisonment
Resulting psychological damage flowing from the subjection of the individual to prison life and prison discipline
Should There be a Cap Placed on the Damages Flowing from Wrongful Conviction and Imprisonment?


Thomas Sophonow's Personality Before and After his Arrest
Thomas Sophonow's background
Work record prior to his arrest
His personality prior to his arrest
Evidence of Jackie Henke
Evidence of Beth Olsen (Peterson)
Evidence of Rachel Devine
Evidence of Raymond Johnson
Evidence of Philip Sophonow
His personality after arrest
Evidence of Janet Jones
Evidence of Rebecca Sophonow
The Arrest, Detention and Incarceration and the Effect on Thomas Sophonow
Places of incarceration
The Winnipeg Remand Centre
Stony Mountain Penitentiary
Saskatchewan Penitentiary
Time in custody
Expert Evidence Regarding the Effects of Wrongful Conviction and Imprisonment on Thomas Sophonow
Dr. Clifford Silverthorne
Joel Grymaloski
Dr. Roy O'Shaughnessy
Dr. Adrian Grounds
Peter Neufeld
Assessing the Effect of Wrongful Conviction and Imprisonment on Thomas Sophonow
General comments
Deprivation of liberty
Loss of privacy
Loss of association
Loss of enjoyment of life
The physical and psychological effects of the wrongful conviction and imprisonment
Loss of reputation
How his reputation as a murderer has affected Thomas Sophonow in many aspects of his life
The family
Relationship with neighbours
The larger community
Aggravated damages
The first photo pack line-up and the police interrogation in Vancouver of Thomas Sophonow
Failures in the acknowledged duty to disclose matters
Failure to disclose matters which should have been disclosed to Defence Counsel
The allegation of a sexual assault upon the victim in the third trial

Pecuniary Damages to be Awarded for the Wrongful Conviction and Imprisonment
Requirements for future counselling and medication
Loss of income
Should there be interest on the pecuniary damages?
Non-Pecuniary Compensation
What interest should be payable regarding the non-pecuniary damages?
Consideration of the Stoppel family

Appendix A - Order-in-Council (656Kb PDF)

Appendix B - Notices of Hearing (225Kb PDF)

Appendix C - Rules of Practice and Procedure (433Kb PDF)

Appendix D - Curriculum Vitae of Peter Neufeld (203Kb PDF)

Appendix E - Curriculum Vitae of Dr. Elizabeth Loftus (4730Kb PDF)

Appendix F - Manitoba Guidelines Respecting the Use of Jailhouse Informants (725Kb PDF)

Appendix G - Criminal Record of Thomas Sophonow (175Kb PDF)

Appendix H - Curriculum Vitae of Dr. Clifford Silverthorne (64Kb PDF)

Appendix I - Curriculum Vitae of Joel Grymaloski (259Kb PDF)

Appendix J - Curriculum Vitae of Dr. Adrian Grounds (436Kb PDF)

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Anonymous said...

False allegations of child sexual abuse by children are rare

“allegations made by child victims match closely with confessions of pedophiles”

“The evidence indicates that very few (children) lied originally.”

“children tend to minimize and deny abuse, not exaggerate or over-report such incidents”

How often do children’s reports of abuse turn out to be false? Research has consistently shown that false allegations of child sexual abuse by children are rare. Jones and McGraw examined 576 consecutive referrals of child sexual abuse to the Denver Department of Social Services, and categorized the reports as either reliable or fictitious. In only 1% of the total cases were children judged to have advanced a fictitious allegation. Jones, D. P. H., and J. M. McGraw: Reliable and Fictitious Accounts of Sexual Abuse to Children. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 2, 27-45, 1987. In a more recent study, investigators reviewed case notes of all child sexual abuse reports to the Denver Department of Social Services over 12 months. Of the 551 cases reviewed, there were only 14 (2.5%) instances of erroneous concerns about abuse emanating from children. These consisted of three cases of allegations made in collusion with a parent, three cases where an innocent event was misinterpreted as sexual abuse and eight cases (1.5%) of false allegations of sexual abuse. Oates, R. K., D.P. Jones, D. Denson, A. Sirotnak, N. Gary, and R.D. Krugman: Erroneous Concerns about Child Sexual Abuse. Child Abuse & Neglect 24:149-57, 2000….Children Tend to Understate Rather than Overstate the Extent of Any Abuse Experienced - Research with children whose sexual abuse has been proven has shown that children tend to minimize and deny abuse, not exaggerate or over-report such incidents.

Children’s Testimony More Reliable than Physical Exams

Allegations made by child victims of sexual abuse closely match the confessions of perpetrators. In addition, physical exams are unreliable indicators of sexual abuse.

Children’s testimony more reliable than physical exams in cases of sexual abuse

Contact: Jim Feuer, Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati; 513-636-4420

Although many people find a child’s testimony in cases of sexual abuse hard to believe, a new study proves that their allegations should be taken seriously.

The study, conducted at Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Cincinnati, shows that allegations made by child victims match closely with confessions of pedophiles. The study also shows that genital exams are most often normal in victims of sexual abuse, even when genital penetration is admitted to, making it all the more imperative to listen to what children say, according to the study’s authors….

The researchers reviewed the records of 31 pedophiles who confessed between 1994 and 1999. The case files contained all available victim, witness and perpetrator statements, and pertinent victim medical records. They analyzed each case for admissions or denials of specific sexual acts. They also analyzed victim medical histories, examinations and reports from criminal investigators for specific histories of sexual assault and exam findings.

The 31 perpetrators confessed to a total of 101 acts of sexual abuse, some of which they committed multiple times. The perpetrators abused 47 children. The 45 old enough to provide a history described 111 acts of sexual abuse.

The perpetrators confessed to 68 percent of their victims’ allegations, and they denied 6 percent. The only acts denied were some allegations of penile-vaginal and penile-rectal penetration, possibly because of the stiffer criminal penalties associated with penetration, according to Dr. Shapiro, an emergency medicine physician at Cincinnati Children’s. The perpetrators were not specifically asked about the other 26 percent of victim allegations….

Recantation in Child Sexual Abuse Cases - Rieser, Margaret - Child Welfare, v70 n6 p611-22 Nov-Dec 1991 - ERIC #: EJ436461 - Abstract: A brief narrative description of the journal article, document, or resource. Reviews the literature on children’s retraction of their disclosure of having been sexually abused. The evidence indicates that very few lied originally. The circumstances that underlie recantation, including false allegations, secrecy, denial, lack of support, pressure to recant, societal attitudes, and intervening events, are discussed, and suggestions for mitigating them are offered.;jsessionid=JwfdTd5V4T6qY4phJJxhtp5Q21YtbyrvJwgCj7vHJK3nkQvnPz3p!-383582632?_nfpb=true&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=%22Rieser+Margaret%22&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=au&_pageLabel=RecordDetails&objectId=0900019b80147b75&accno=EJ436461&_nfls=false

Anonymous said...

A Brief History of the False Memory Research of Elizabeth Loftus

Lynn Crook, M.Ed.

The lost- in- a-shopping-mall study (Loftus and Pickrell, 1995) provided initial scientific support for the claim that child sexual abuse accusations are false memories planted by therapists. However, the mall study researchers faced a problem early on—the participants could tell the difference between the true and false memories.

The Alleged Ethical Violations of Elizabeth Loftus in the Case of Jane Doe

Loftus made several ethical breaches during her research and when publishing her study. The right to freedom of speech and academic debate does not allow for the kind of ethical breaches that were made.