Wrongly Convicted Database Record


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Antonio Batista



Death Threat (includes uttering a death threat)


1 year suspended sentence

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Judicially Exonerated

Summary of Case:

"Antonio Batista was wrongly convicted in July 2007 of uttering a death threat in a poem he wrote in October 2006 about a local city councillor in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, that he thought was ignoring his complaints about a tax bill. The poem said in part, 'We are going to dig a pothole about six feet long and three feet wide and five feet deep to hide her body and God will take care of Her Soul, but We can not forgive her for doing nothing,' The 75-year-old Antonio Batista posted copies of the poem on mailboxes around his neighborhood. He was sentenced to a one year suspended sentence. He was dubbed by the media as the 'Pothole Poet.' Batista appealed his conviction. On November 28, 2008 the Ontario Court of Appeal quashed Batista's conviction on the grounds that it wa satire, and did not meet the legal definition of a threat, so he had not committed a crime."

Conviction Caused By:

Erroneous legal interpretation of what constituted a death threat.

Innocence Proved By:

"Conviction quashed on November 28, 2008 by the Ontario Court of Appeal"

Defendant Aided By:

Compensation Awarded:

Was Perpetrator Identified?

Age When Imprisoned:

Age When Released:





Information Source 1:

"R v Batista, 2008_ONCA_0804_(11-28-2008).pdf"

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Information Source 2:

"Pothole poet' found guilty of death threat, National Post, 07-28-2008"

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Information Source 3:

"Conviction of 'Pothole Poet' overturned, By Louie Rosella, The Mississauga News, November 28, 2008"

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