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Kinew James' Death Report Will Remain Unsealed, Rules Saskatoon Judge

01/18/2016 11:56 EST | Updated 01/18/2016 11:59 EST
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SASKATOON — A Saskatchewan judge has denied a coroner's office request to seal a report into the death of an inmate at a federal psychiatric facility.

Both Correctional Service Canada and the coroner's office argued the initial report into the death of Kinew James should not be made public before an upcoming coroner's inquest because the report could influence the inquest's jury.

James, who was 35, died in January 2013 after she was found unresponsive in her cell at the Saskatoon Regional Psychiatric Centre and taken to hospital.

The Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, a group that helps women in the justice system, has said that other inmates reported at the time hearing James shouting for help and using a distress button in her cell.

Media outlets and the Elizabeth Fry Society argued the report on James' death would not influence the inquest jury.

The judge sided with them in his written decision on Friday.

The inquest, which will look into the cause of James's death, is set for April.

James was serving time for manslaughter, assault, uttering threats, arson, mischief and obstruction of justice.

The Elizabeth Fry group is fighting to be part of the inquest.

The society will be in court Feb. 4 to ask a judge to review a Saskatchewan coroner's decision to bar the group from participating.

(CTV Saskatoon, The Canadian Press)

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