Presiding coroner set to charge Ashley Smith jury as inquest draws to close

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TORONTO — Jurors at the Ashley Smith inquest receive final instructions today before starting their deliberations.

Ashley Smith is shown in this still image taken from a coroner's video. Federal correctional authorities are trying to stop public disclosure of videos and documents during a fight over the scope of an Ontario inquest into the prison death of a deeply troubled teen.

Presiding coroner Dr. John Carlisle will charge the five-women panel before sending them away to come up with a verdict and recommendations.

The jury heard from 83 witnesses since the inquest began in mid-January into Smith’s choking death in a prison segregation cell in 2007.

They also heard four days of final summations from the various parties last week.

They were given conflicting advice on whether the 19-year-old Smith meant to kill herself or died because guards — under orders against quick intervention — waited too long to save her.

Their recommendations are expected to cover a broad swath of problems with how Corrections Canada deals with mentally ill women.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Organizations: Corrections Canada

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