Saturday, April 20, 2024

Canada Oh Canada: “Hunger Games” Mentality in Toronto, Ontario Prison System As Ridiculous Case Drags On


I told you last week about a continuing court room drama going on in Ontario Superior Court in Toronto. Until last week it read just like a John Grisham novel. But now it’s taken on aspects of the “Hunger Games.”

The judge in this case– and this was on the record– told the jury that they didn’t have to find “beyond a reasonable doubt the main fact of the prosecution’s case” the guilt or innocence of the accused white collar criminal.  There was also evidence deleted by the police — thousands of emails– that the judge simply ignored.

The jury, not knowing the full extent of the cast, found the defendant guilty. By all accounts, this was a true kangaroo court.

But now there’s more. The 56 year old defendant, accused of decidedly white collar crimes, also suffers from serious medical issues, was allegedly roughed up quite violently in the last week by court employees. Last Friday he was experiencing crushing chest pains while waiting to go to court. The court staff, instead of taking him to the hospital as ordered by an already questionable judge, threw him in a cell and made him wait two and a half hours before calling an ambulance.

Once at the hospital, the defendant remained shackled despite pleas from the medical staff. The treatment from the court staff was pretty abusive, from what I’m told, including verbally abusing the defendant and cursing him out, refusing to help him. Eventually the defendant got a much needed CT scan. But the treatment by the court staff was like something out of “Oz” or “The Wire.” Not what we hear about beautiful, civil Canada.

A few days later, in a transport truck, the defendant was injured again as the court officers seemingly retaliated for the complaints the defendant lodged. The court staff has apparently been lying to the judge, the judge has been ignoring their dangerous treatment of the defendant. In the court van, the defendant may have experienced a concussion after the driver drove erratically, on purpose. There’s apparently quite a bit of negligence here, and it may be representative of what goes on in the Canadian justice system overall.

Again, I’m not being coy. There are more revelations coming up in this case, and I will tell you more about this defendant and what has gone on in this Toronto courtroom next week.



Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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