On Campus

UNB students petition for wrongfully convicted man

Dying Ontario man was convicted of murder in New Brunswick 34 years ago

A group of law students has collected more than 1,000 signatures through an online petition in the effort to get compensation for a dying Ontario man who was wrongfully convicted of murder in New Brunswick 34 years ago.

Erin Walsh was convicted in 1975 of killing Melvin (Chi Chi) Peters in Saint John, N.B., and served 10 years in prison before getting parole, but was acquitted last year after new information was uncovered.

Walsh, who has colon cancer, has launched a civil suit that names the province, the Crown prosecutor in the original trial, the City of Saint John and Saint John Police as defendants.

University of New Brunswick student Shane Martinez says other provinces have compensated people who were wrongfully convicted, and New Brunswick needs to do the same.

Government officials have declined specific comment on Walsh while the civil suit is before the courts.

Premier Shawn Graham has asked Business New Brunswick Minister Greg Byrne, who was attorney general and minister of justice from 1997 to 1999, to temporarily oversee the file for the province.

– The Canadian Press

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