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Saskatchewan says inquests shouldn’t be mandatory on all inmate deaths

Justice Minister Gord Wyant says a proposed legislative change means the coroner won't have to call an inquest if he's satisfied the person died of natural causes and the death was not preventable. File / Global News

Saskatchewan is removing a mandatory requirement for the coroner to hold an inquest when someone dies in custody.

Inquests have been mandatory unless the coroner was satisfied a person died of natural causes and the death was not preventable.

The change extends that discretion to any death in custody.

New Democrat Nicole Sarauer says inquests are meant to provide transparency and answers to the families of inmates.<

Sarauer says some people who have died were in remand or police custody and had not been convicted of a crime.

Justice Minister Gord Wyant initially told reporters that removing the requirement for an inquest would only apply to deaths from natural causes, but later corrected himself to say the coroner's discretion will now apply to any death.

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