The Quantum of Compensation for Mr. Truscott
I wish to reiterate the purposes of an ex gratia payment in this case. They are:
- to provide Mr. Truscott with the financial security needed to live the rest of his life in comfort and dignity, with the ability to provide for his family as he sees fit;
- to provide a measure of compensation to Mr. Truscott for his emotional suffering and his economic loss; and
- to provide a public recognition of the seriousness of the wrong suffered by Mr. Truscott
In the result, considering all of the foregoing, I have concluded that an appropriate amount for an ex gratia payment to Mr. Truscott is $6.5 million. In my opinion, that amount provides fair and reasonable compensation to Mr. Truscott for all of his losses. It will provide him with financial security for the remainder of his life. It will enable him to provide a substantial legacy to his children. It is proportional to awards of compensation made in other relevant cases. And it will serve as a public acknowledgement of the magnitude of the harm caused by this miscarriage of justice.
As a means of testing the reasonableness of this amount, I have considered how much Mr. Truscott would receive if compensation were assessed based on the number of years spent in prison and on parole. In determining an appropriate amount payable per year, one would need to consider the nature and extent of Mr. Truscott's ordeal, as well as the fact that, for many of the years, he lost earnings as a result of his wrongful conviction. In my opinion, if such an approach were to be adopted, the appropriate amount payable in respect of the ten years that Mr. Truscott was incarcerated would be $250,000 per year - a figure that is higher than that provided in any other jurisdiction, but that, in my opinion, would be fair in this case. In respect of the 38 years that Mr. Truscott spent on parole, the appropriate amount payable would be $100,000 per year. The compensation arrived at by means of such an approach is in the same range as the $6.5 million figure that I have recommended above.