Saturday, 14 May 2011

SBS: New Brunswick: Richard Brant miscarriage of justice

May. 5, 2011
A father who was acquitted 18 years after he pleaded guilty in the killing of his two-month old son due to evidence given by the now disgraced pathologist Charles Smith has said that he always knew the truth would come out.
Richard Brant told Canada AM's Beverly Thomson that he and his then partner, not only suffered shame because of the six-month jail sentence he served, but they also lost custody of their other child because of the conviction.
Richard Brant, the man who pleaded guilty in the death of his two-month-old son in the 1990s appears on CTV's Canada AM, Thursday, May 5, 2011.
"During the proceedings they had taken Samantha not knowing what had happened to Dustin," he said. "It was tough, she (my then partner) is still upset today."
He went on to describe the emotions he felt after seeing his former partner for the first time in almost two decades at the court.
"Almost 20-years I haven't seen her," said the 38-year-old. "I was actually more nervous about seeing her than going into the courtroom and hearing the verdict."
Brant, who originally hails from Moncton, was charged in 1993 with manslaughter in his baby's death the previous year.
He eventually pleaded guilty to aggravated assault after testimony from Smith said his son, Dustin, died of Shaken Baby Syndrome.
His conclusions flew in the face of another pathologist who listed pneumonia and respiratory failure as causes of death.
Although Brant maintained he never did anything to intentionally cause Dustin's death, he pleaded guilty in 1995 to the lesser charge after his lawyer Robert Graydon, now an Ontario Court judge, told him Smith was the "God" of his profession.
When asked what he would say to Smith, Brant said: "I don't think I would say very much. I don't really know what I would say, I would be too upset."
And speaking about whether he thought it was fair that he spent time in jail, while Smith simply lost his licence, he said: "I don't think it's fair at all for all the lives that he ruined, it wasn't only myself it was everybody around me and everybody else from their cases, their families and their kids, he ruined so many lives. I knew the truth would come out sometime, the truth always comes out."
Brant was acquitted after both his defence and the Crown agreed that there had been a miscarriage of justice.

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