Jury of Ashley Smith Inquest to Start Deliberations

The jury is anticipated to finally deliberate on the case of Ashley Smith today, since it has gone through more than 12,000 pages of evidence and year-long different testimonies. According to Coroner Dr. John Carlisle, he has instructed the jury regarding how to deliberate and now five women will soon ponder over their verdict and recommendations, which is anticipated to take a several weeks.

The inquest learned that 19-years-old Ashley Smith choked herself to death while in a prison cell at the Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener, Ont., in 2007. It has been established that she tied a piece of cloth around her neck while guards stood watching from outside her cell door and did nothing. Shockingly, they were ordered by senior staff to not enter her cell as long as she was breathing.

Ashley Smith’s mother, Coralee Smith, alleged that “as we sit here today, it’s not over for us,” while complaining that “there still has been no stand-up accountability, the transparency is just not there so I don’t know in that area if we’ll ever be satisfied.” It took several years of court battles for Coraleen Smith to expose details of her daughter’s death from the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), which also caused them millions of dollars in attempt to prevent the inquest from going ahead. Talking about her experience of watching the proceedings online from her home in Nova Scotia, Smith alleged that “I watched basically daily,” but “at time’s it’s very difficult, at times I just have to leave the room and put on my coat and go away for a couple of hours.”

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