Attempt to limit Ashley Smith inquest 'unseemly': lawyer
Ashley Smith is shown in this still image taken from a coroner's video. (HO / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Friday, September 28, 2012 6:39PM EDT
TORONTO - A lawyer is calling a challenge by three Ontario physicians to the scope of an inquest into the prison death of a troubled teenager -- "unseemly."
Julian Falconer represents the family of Ashley Smith and said the move by the doctors to end coroner Dr. John Carlisle's jurisdiction at the Ontario border is an abuse of process.
The lawyer for the doctors said they want the jurisdiction issue resolved before summonses go to three out-of-province psychiatrists.
Falconer noted the trio raised no objections when the coroner at the first aborted inquest made it clear two years ago that probe would not be confined to Ontario.
Smith of Moncton, New Brunswick, spent the last 11 months of her life being shuttled from one prison to another in various parts of the country -- much of it in solitary confinement.
The 19-year-old choked to death on a strip of cloth in her cell at the federal Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ontario, in October of 2007.
Carlisle has said the effects of long-term solitary confinement and Smith's repeated transfers -- 17 times in under a year -- are among issues that must be explored.