Doctors & lawyers Claim Ashley Smith Inquest Oversteps Legal Limits

A coroner from Ontario has requested a probe into the federal prison system rather than limiting his inquest to focus on the cell-death of a troubled teenager.

Lawyers of the Correctional Service Canada and three Ontario doctors are pressurizing the coroner to lemmatize his probe to Ashley Smith’s inquest only. They are asserting that the scope of this inquest is violating its legal and constitutional boundaries. The Corrections Lawyer, Nancy Noble, stated that “the problem is how the inquest has been structured” and “this has become an investigation into how CSC treated Ms. Smith, and not an investigation into her death.”

Dr. John Carlisle is completely supported by Smith’s family, and is now focusing on a broader inquest which raises questions as to how the teenager was treated before committing suicide in Kitchener, Ont., five years ago. Carlisle intends to highlight the effects of extended isolation on Smith’s deteriorating mental health and the effect of 17 transfers within nine institutions of all five provinces within the time period of one year only.

Noble portrayed his case asserting that the framework of the inquest goes too far so it is going to turn the inquest “into full-blown inquiry into operations and management of CSC.” Furthermore, the proposed mention of a mental-health treatment will also raise questions on other provinces’ jurisdiction. She made the case by implying that the scope of this investigation will reach way ahead of the tasks and purpose of Ontario’s Coroner’s Act.

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