Charles Smith ruined as many lives as some of Canada’s worst serial killers have taken. For that, he’s lost his licence to practise medicine and pays a fine of $3,650.
That’s hardly fair punishment.
The forensic pathologist’s incompetence, carelessness and laziness led to mistakes in 20 death investigations in which Canadians were charged, convicted or otherwise implicated in the deaths of children.
Last week, the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons, more than two years after a damning report from a public inquiry, revoked Smith’s right to practise.
Smith’s so-called expert testimony led to huge miscarriages of justice.
William Mullins-Johnson was the most notorious, albeit only one, of Smith’s victims. Convicted of murdering and raping his four-year-old niece, he spent 12 years in prison before being exonerated.
Other innocent people went to prison, lost custody of children, and suffered massive emotional trauma.
Smith’s profession, and the judicial system, suffered staggering blows to their credibility.
Smith was considered a word-class expert, when in fact the public inquiry, and the college of physicians and surgeons last week, found that during his years of court testimony, he provided speculative and erroneous opinions and made false and misleading statements.
At what point does negligence become criminal?
Does years of documented recklessness and disregard for the truth not meet some burden of proof?
His victims say Smith should be prosecuted.
We say that, at least, the public has a right to know why he is not.