Friday, May 23, 2008



A prisoner bleed to death while guards did nothing. There was no first aid administered and prison officials failed to do a comprehensive investigation. Accuracy of the event was very sketchy at best. The prison was known for racism from both the staff and the prisoners. But official’s content there was no cover up, hmm. You’d think this was Burma or other totalitarian regime with a barbaric and total disregard for their inmates. But alas this event occurred at the Warkworth Institution, Trent Hills, Ontario Canada.

An Aboriginal inmate, Martin Blackwind, was successful in committing suicide by slicing an artery in his arm. He was doing a 17 year prison sentence for manslaughter when this occurred. The guards stood by as he bled to death and only after 10 minutes did the ambulance arrive but by then he had already expired. The guards involved directly with the incident were given time off without pay, imagine. If it were not for the efforts of Federal Correctional Investigator Howard Saper this crime would have gone unchecked like so may other questionable deaths that occurred in Canada’s Gulag. There was more than just a hint of racial bias reveled in the investigation of this institution as well.

Sadly this is not an isolated case. Ambivalence to crimes against minority inmates permeates the system through out Canada’s penal system. This should be of no surprise since police have allowed intoxicated Aboriginals to freeze to death in the elements rather than take them to jail in several communities I know of. The Crown is but a Crown of Thorns when the concerns of the Aboriginal population are concerned. The judicial system is bias at best and this event may very well not lead to criminal prosecution regardless of its discovery.

It still boggles the imagination how this inmate got the instrument to lacerate his artery in the first place. He was left alone in a cell, or was he? Did the guards simply watch as his life’s blood spilled onto the concrete floor? How callous and cruel could a group of guards be to allow a human being to die before their very eyes without event administering the basics of first aid? Maybe they just forgot. Then for the system to bungle reports and exclude important facts of the case was incomprehensible. But officials said there was no cover up eh.

Your Devil’s Advocate
Creativity is the byproduct of a fertile mind

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