Showing posts from October 23, 2011
The Ashley Smith story is a moving one but also sad and confusing.
This young girl, 19, was in a juvenile correction facility in Canada for 3 years, in solitary confinement, until she killed herself while the guards looked on.

Her parents and family members tell stories of Ashley as a child; happy, playful, charming. After puberty she changed, however. Some sort of mental illness came into play and her personality changed. She began to fight authority and display severe behaviour disorders.

Her legal problems began with assault and disorderly conduct and escalated until she was in a federal prison for women at age 19. She was a difficult inmate, causing constant problems and refusing to cooperate. She often tried to strangle herself in an attempt to draw attention from the guards and caused hundreds of filed reports.

Many people believe that her 2007 death was in fact an accident. That she was desperate for some type of stimulation after three years alone in solitary with a mental ill…

Gaile Owens Lives

I often think of Gaile these days. I wonder how she is adjusting. I wonder what kind of things go through her head. I wonder how life seems to someone who was just released after 26 years in prison.Gaile’s case is sad and a testament to how the span of societies changes can effect the death penalty and hardly ever for the good. He case also shows how a decision to do something decent and right can backfire in the American judicial system.Gaile was abused for years by her husband. She finally sought out a hit man to murder her husband and was eventually caught up in the trial. she refused to allow evidence of the abuse in her marriage to be used in her defense so her children would never have a sullied image of their father. Years later cases like Mary Winkler come to light and are treated far differently than Gaile and her case. Governor Phil Bredesen noticed considerable discrepancies and noted that other comparable cases resulted in far less judgments. Mary Winkle killed her husband…