Ludmila Ilina has maintained for 16 years that she was wrongly convicted of murdering her husband in their Winnipeg home. Despite that, she was sent to prison for life. Professor Alan Young, director of the Innocence Project at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, and Osgoode students Alex Melfi and Ziba Heydarian have now taken on her case. Their efforts will be shown tonight on CBC Television’s “the fifth estate”.
Right: Host Linden MacIntyre, host of CBC Television’s “the fifth estate”
“A Question of Innocence” will air at 9pm with”fifth estate” host Linden MacIntyre taking a closer look at the Ilina case, the Osgoode team reviewing it and how evidence can be used to both convict and acquit. CBC News Network will rebroadcast the episode on Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 7pm and Tuesday at 10pm.
Left: Alan Young
Young, along with Melfi and Heydarian, who are in their second year at Osgoode, believe the same evidence that convicted Ilina could now absolve her. They question how Ilina, a petite 55-year-old university professor with no history of violence, could have actually beaten her husband to death. The more they looked into her story, the more problematic the case against her became, convincing them her conviction may be worthy of appeal to the government of Canada.
Ilina’s life sentence was based on the strength of circumstantial and forensic evidence after her husband, Ted Mieczkowski, was found on their driveway in a pool of blood.
Osgoode’s Innocence Project seeks to address the problem of wrongful convictions, with students and faculty volunteering their time to assist individuals claiming to have been wrongfully convicted.
For more information, visit “the fifth estate” website.