The B.C. Court of Appeal set the stage Friday for Phillip James Tallio, who has spent the last 34 years in prison for killing a child, to appeal his 1983 murder conviction. If Tallio’s appeal were to be successful, it would make Canadian legal history as the longest prison sentence served by someone found to be wrongly convicted.
Friday’s decision, which legal observers are already calling “historic,” allows the appeal to proceed. The ruling hinged on the issue of DNA evidence, with the judge saying new testing had the potential to either exonerate Tallio or conclusively re-affirm he was guilty. “The risk Mr. Tallio takes, if this testing is performed, is that it will not exculpate him, but conclusively include him,” B.C. Court of Appeal judge Elizabeth Bennett said in her ruling. “This is a risk he is willing to take.” Read more.