Update: Prison service wants Ashley Smith videos kept secret

Update: Prison service wants Ashley Smith videos kept secret

Postby oneh2obabe » Oct 16th, 2012, 12:49 pm

Ashley Smith: Judge refuses to further delay inquest
Published 55 minutes ago
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THE CANADIAN PRESS Teen prison inmate Ashley Smith strangled herself with a piece of cloth the morning of Friday, Oct. 19, 2007, in a segregation cell while seven guards at Kitchener's Grand Valley Institution – who were ordered to not intervene – watched.

Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press

An inquest into the prison death of a deeply troubled teenager will be able to proceed after a judge on Wednesday rejected the federal government's last-ditch request for an emergency stay.

The decision came amid assertions prison authorities were simply trying to cover up the horrific treatment meted out to Ashley Smith that was captured on video.

In a ruling that took about an hour to decide, Divisional Court Justice Joan Lax said the motion for stay is dismissed.

Correctional Service Canada asked for the emergency halt to the much-delayed inquest to give it time to get the courts to review a ruling by the presiding coroner that the videos should be public.

Ashley Smith: Prison videos to be shown in court

The videos at issue show, among other things, guards duct-taping Smith to an airplane seat, and forcibly injecting her with "chemical restraints" against her will.

Lawyer Julian Falconer, who speaks for Smith's family, accused the government of trying to put a lid on videos that document some of the abuse she suffered.

"I insist on Correctional Services being called an abuser," Julian Falconer told Justice Joan Lax.

Falconer called the images "central" to understanding Smith's state of mind.

“This case is really about Correctional Service Canada taking all conceivable steps so that certain videos don't make it to the public record," he said.

Smith's family — with backing from Carlisle — wants to use the tapes in support of a broader inquest that includes how she was treated in prisons outside Ontario.

In arguing the stay, Correctional Service said the videos have not yet been put into evidence and so should stay out of the public eye until such time as that happens to avoid any tainting of the jury pool.

Corrections lawyer Joel Robichaud also said lawyers had undertaken not to release the materials, and doing so could jeopardize future co-operation between the department and coroners.

It was not immediately clear when the inquest would resume and when the contentious videos might be screened.

Earlier in the day, presiding coroner Dr. John Carlisle reluctantly adjourned the inquest pending the outcome of the emergency stay motion.

The lawyers — about 20 of them — then rushed down the several blocks to divisional court.

Lax initially appeared puzzled as to how she could decide the motion without proper documentation — an indication of the last-ditch government scrambling.

"I don't have anything," Lax said, fingering the few pieces of paper before her.

"What do counsel suggest I do? I don't have a lot of information here."

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article ... n-in-court
Last edited by oneh2obabe on Oct 24th, 2012, 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Prison service wants Ashley Smith videos kept secret

Postby Winston_Smith » Oct 16th, 2012, 11:28 pm

CBC's Fifth Estate put out a great documentary regarding her death. I believe it is streamed for free on the Fifth Estate site.

Definitely worth a watch.
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Re: Prison service wants Ashley Smith videos kept secret

Postby WhatThe » Oct 17th, 2012, 8:15 am

How does throwing an apple and stealing a cd turn into six years and segregation with self harm attempts. Something's not right here. it certainly sounds like to me that the system failed miserably in this case (like many)
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Re: Prison service wants Ashley Smith videos kept secret

Postby OnTheRoadAgain » Oct 17th, 2012, 9:46 pm

Smith had been in custody since she was 15, when a judge sentenced her to a few months in jail for throwing crab apples at a postman and stealing a CD. Her sentence swelled to more than six years because of in-custody charges. She was transferred to federal prison when she turned 18, nearly a year before her death.

Aw, geeze, 15? so sad
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