SASKATOON – A judge has decided not to seal a crucial document in the death of an inmate at the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon. Last week, a Court of Queen’s Bench judge heard arguments in regards to a “board of investigation” report.
On Jan. 15, it was ruled that releasing the internal report would pose no risk to the administration of justice.
The public inquest into the death of Kinew James is expected to get underway in April.
She was found unresponsive in her cell in 2013 and rushed to Royal University Hospital where she was pronounced dead after having an apparent heart attack. There have been allegations made by other prisoners who say they repeatedly pressed emergency call buttons as James lay there in distress, calls they say went unanswered for up to an hour.
There were concerns that if the report was released in advance, it would taint the jury. The judge dismissed this concern so long as clear instructions are given to the panel.
Kinew, who was at the tail end of her sentence, first entered the corrections system in 1988 when she was 18. She was serving time for manslaughter, assault, uttering threats, arson, mischief and obstruction of justice at the time of her death.
Meaghan Craig contributed to this story