August 24, 2001
'A cautionary tale' on courtroom honesty
Woman's claim of sex assault wrecked Jamie Nelson's life
By Christie Blatchford
ACQUITTAL COMES AFTER 3 YEARS IN JAIL ON THE TESTIMONY OF A QUESTIONABLE WITNESS: During his time in prison, Jamie Nelson tried to hang himself, and one of his sons was put up for adoption.
TORONTO - Even in an era when a Canadian can no longer count on a single hand the number of those wrongfully convicted in the nation's justice system, the story of Jamie Nelson is sobering and instructive.
Mr. Nelson stands apart from Guy Paul Morin, Donald Marshall, David Milgaard et al. because he went to federal prison solely on the say-so of a woman who claimed he had raped her, and not, as with his more famous predecessors, as a result of unreliable testimony from jailhouse stoolies or a botched investigation or prosecutorial tunnel vision or because good men in a human justice system made bad mistakes.
Ms. Fordham, who turns 31 next month, was yesterday still standing behind that discredited testimony; she appeared on television last evening, duly photographed in shadow so her face was hidden, saying as much.
Copyright August, 2001 National Post Online