The disastrous trial and subsequent tribulations of Ivan Henry, including a quarter of a century of hard prison time for multiple sexual assaults he likely did not commit, shines light on an appalling miscarriage of Canadian justice.  Ivan Henry emerges as stubborn and misinformed; a misguided, self-represented litigant. But there are lots of such people trapped in the courts, and the system needs to do a better job of dealing with them.  In Ivan Henry’s case, it failed miserably.” Ian Binnie, C.C., Q.C.; former Supreme Court of Canada Justice


When I got out in 2003, I believed that, some day, fewer people would be wrongly convicted. Now I’m not so sure. I hope that, as a result of this book, people and governments will be held accountable for what went wrong.-Jim Driskell, Exoneree


Innocence on Trial’ shatters any illusion that wrongful convictions occur by accident or error in an otherwise fair and just system. With forensic precision, Joan McEwen dissects the ‘evidence’ that confined Ivan Henry to so many years of wrongful imprisonment. How could so many stakeholders in the criminal justice system so woefully abjure their duty such that the real offender went unpunished–at liberty to commit further crimes? Shocking!  -Dr Michael Naughton, Reader in Sociology and Law, University of Bristol, UK; Founder and Director, Innocence Network UK (INUK)


“Once again, this book reminds us that our system is comprised of humans who make human mistakes and resist acknowledgement of those mistakes at great personal cost to the individuals involved as well as a general cost to society as our faith in the justice system is eroded.” Ron Dalton, Exoneree







“Ivan Henry deserved to have this book written about him.  His convictions were outrageous based entirely on flawed evidence.  Any self-respecting jurist would have known this at the time but it didn’t stop them.  He spent 27 years in prison as a serial rapist.  He wasn’t, and he had to survive all those years in prison through his courage, wits and determination.  The justice system deserved to have this book written about it too.  Corrupt, unfair, uncaring even to this day as it refuses to admit Henry’s actual innocence and tries to deny him compensation.  This is an important book in the annals of Canadian miscarriages of justice.  Henry’s story is terrifying but true and we should all be grateful to him for surviving his ordeal and to the author for telling us about it. ”  -James Lockyer, AIDWYC


“The memories the book brought back—because of many of the shared experiences and similar players—made it too painful to get to the end.” -Thomas Sophonow, Exoneree


“Innocence on Trial is a brilliantly told tale of a compelling case of wrongful conviction. This riveting ‘true crime’ account brings alive how Ivan Henry was wrongly convicted by a flawed legal system that failed to find the truth. Joan McEwen deserves a medal for her role in helping to right the wrong and in engagingly describing this injustice. As she said up front, the case of Ivan Henry shows that there is always hope.”—Elizabeth F. Loftus, Distinguished Professor, University of California, Irvine; Past President, Association for Psychological Science; author of Eyewitness Testimony


“This book reveals the many failures of the criminal justice system that are hidden behind a facade of fairness, accuracy, and science. Improper police procedures and non-responsive courts ruin people’s live. When an innocent man serves twenty-seven years in prison, our system and our society has failed.”—Professor Justin Brooks, Director, California Innocence Project, California Western School of Law


“Masterfully narrated, the story of Ivan Henry demonstrates that, when prosecutors and police blindly pursue convictions, they ignore the state’s obligation to be fair and just. To avoid future such miscarriages of justice, this book must be required reading for every law student, prosecutor, defence lawyer and trial judge in Canada–Ujjal Dosanjh, Q.C., former premier of British Columbia


“Innocence on Trial’ charts the thirty-year journey of one man’s fight to prove not only his innocence but to show how fallible the criminal justice system can be. Ivan Henry shows remarkable tenacity, strength, and the courage to tell the truth–despite the corruption of power. If you think this is just in the movies, read this book.”—Jennifer Thompson, winner of the Innocence Network’s 2014 Champion of Justice Award


“Joan’s experience in the Justice system as a lawyer, arbitrator and a volunteer in the inmate community is reflected in an underlying theme of the book—when we send a person to prison, we do not throw away the key. How we treat them in prison will, upon their release, help shape our society.—Canadian Senator Mobina Jaffer, Q.C.


“You don’t have to like Ivan Henry or agree with everything Joan McEwen says to shudder in horror at how our justice system grinds on and sometimes grinds people in its wake.”–Julian Sher, Senior Producer, CBC’s the fifth estate; author “Until You are Dead: Steven Truscott’s Long Ride into History”




“Since being found ‘not guilty’ may not be an exoneration, even after their release, prisoners may face a long road towards clearing their names. Read Innocence on Trial. You will not think about criminal justice the same way after experiencing the story of a high-profile Vancouver case gone wrong and the interminable legal ordeal that has followed.”—Brandon L. Garrett, Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law






“A powerful and compelling book.” —Anton Koschany, Executive Producer W5



“The book is incredible Joan…. You demonstrate a hard-hitting journalist, not afraid to call shots, bold, courageous, blunt, honest, careful, diligent and a stalwart defender of the necessary protections of our legal system and unflinching, credible critic of the injustice that occurs when those protections are improperly taken away. Well done Joan! An amazing book. I truly hope it wins an award.” —Enid Marion, lawyer