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Verdict Delivered in Ashley Smith Case

The jury at the coroner's inquest into Ashley Smith's prison death has returned a verdict of homicide.

The jury at the coroner's inquest into Ashley Smith's prison death has returned a verdict of homicide.


    The verdict of homicide in an inquest setting is not one of legal responsibility, rather it's a finding that another person contributed to her death.

    Smith, 19, of Moncton, N.B., choked herself to death six years ago while in segregation at a women's prison in Kitchener, Ont.


    Guards were under orders by senior prison management not to rush into Smith's cell when she tied a ligature around her neck, which she did frequently.


    The jury is also expected to make a number of recommendations on dealing with mentally ill inmates.


    The five women jurors heard extensive evidence on the teen's treatment in federal custody.

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  1. Yvonne posted on 12/19/2013 12:31 PM
    Sounds like a different version of the problems at Huronia Regional Centre!
  2. CoffeeCon posted on 12/19/2013 12:32 PM
    Abused mentally ill child was abused. My solution? Don't have one, unfortunately; but prisons are not a substitute for mental health facilities. If half of Toronto's homeless are mentally ill, we need to repurpose those shelter dollars to camh and other worthy institutes.
  3. Angry Bill posted on 12/19/2013 02:02 PM
    I think the correct verdict was reached, in this case. The staff who were monitoring her were under strict orders not to enter, unless they could see that she was not physically breathing anymore. In previous situations, staff were reprimanded for going in to save her. It was a case of management being responsible for her death, and so of course it was homicide.. because it could have been prevented by the staff who were watching her strangle herself, but were prevented from doing so by management.

    Not sure what the judge's recommendations were, but I sure hope it includes firing the management involved.
    1. westerlies posted on 12/19/2013 02:56 PM
      @Angry Bill The law recognizes extreme duress such as a gun to your head and would excuse the death in that circumstance if Ms Smith was not rescued. "My manager made me do it" is hardly that.

      Many lives will now be saved because of the verdict of this good jury.
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