Inquiry of Ashley Smith’s prison death to begin anew

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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Ontario’s medical examiner Dr. John Carlisle has called off the investigation into the prison death of New Brunswick youngster Ashley Smith, and ordered a new one to start. The decision was triggered by a motion filed by the Smith family in August.

It stated that Carlisle must hear point of views in three legal challenges that were heard by Porter when the inquiry began.

On Friday, Carlisle wrote: “I find that, while some time may be lost in starting a new inquest, it is not likely to be more than would be lost by attempting to carry on the old and may indeed be less.”

In October 2007, Smith died in an isolated jail cell at the Grand Valley Institute in Kitchener, Ont. Prison guards on duty were instructed not to take any action until she stopped breathing. The controversial proceedings started in last May under Porter and have often been postponed due to jurisdictional and legal challenges.

The investigation was to start again earlier this month under Carlisle but it unexpectedly halted to hear the motion, which criticized that the inquiry must be formally started over and evoke all facts heard during the first three days of the proceedings.

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