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Robert Mailman and Walter Gillespie were sentenced to life in prison for a murder they did not commit.

Judicial error: New Brunswick negotiates

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Robert Mailman (left) and Walter Gillespie (right) outside the Saint-Jean courthouse, in New Brunswick, January 4.

The Canadian Press

Negotiations are underway between the government of New Brunswick and the two men recently cleared of a 1983 murder in order to pay them compensation, their lawyers said

Ron Dalton, co-president of Innocence Canada, the organization that represents Robert Mailman and Walter Gillespie, says discussions began last week. A member of the attorneys' team described them as successful.

Sarah Bustard, spokesperson of Justice Minister Ted Flemming confirmed that negotiations were underway. However, she added that the provincial government and Innocence Canada had agreed to keep the content confidential.

Robert Mailman, 76, and Walter Gillespie, 80, were acquitted on January 4 of murder by the Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench of New Brunswick, Tracey DeWare.

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She later said the justice system had failed both men.

Robert Mailman and Walter Gillespie were sentenced to life in prison in 1984 after being convicted of murder of a man from Saint-Jean.

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Ron Dalton (right), from Innocence Canada, and Walter Gillespie (front), January 4 in Saint-Jean.

The Prime Minister Blaine Higgs said last month he intended to seek advice on the decision. He also promised to eventually do the right thing.

Mr. Dalton hopes that these negotiations will quickly reach an agreement since Mr. Mailman suffers from terminal liver cancer. In November, doctors gave him only three months to live.

His companion in misfortune lived a meager income in a hotel room converted into an apartment.

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Walter Gillespie in his apartment in Saint-Jean, on January 9.

Mr. Mailman is getting weaker by the day, says Mr. Dalton.

His spirit remains imperturbable. He will fight until the end. But we know well, and he knows it very well too, that the end is getting closer and closer, he says.

According to him, the government has no reason to wait even longer before paying compensation to the two men.

We can make a deal in a few days. There is no reason for this month to end without an agreement.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116