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banyon
11-12-2008, 10:04 PM
Too fat for prison, criminal is free to go


From Thursday's Globe and Mail

November 12, 2008 at 10:24 PM EST

http://images.ctv.ca/archives/CTVNews/img2/20081112/450_big_mike_081112.jpg

MONTREAL, TORONTO — An obese inmate known as Big Mike is heading home early from a Montreal jail, as it appears that size does matter behind bars.

Michel Lapointe, who was imprisoned on drug-trafficking and conspiracy charges, walked out of Bordeaux Jail on Tuesday night after winning early parole – granted in part due to the health difficulties caused by his 400-plus-pound girth.

Normally, he would have had to go to a halfway house. But Mr. Lapointe was rejected by two such institutions because they said they couldn't accommodate someone his size.

So he got to go home.

“In the end, some might say he got off easy,” Mr. Lapointe's lawyer, Clemente Monterosso, said in an interview Wednesday. “But he didn't choose to be morbidly obese. This man is a colossus.”

The lawyer said the 37-year-old Mr. Lapointe suffered in jail because of his weight. His mattress was about a foot too narrow for his body, he couldn't squeeze his legs under the prison tables at mealtimes, and seating didn't provide support for his back.

“His health deteriorated in detention from lack of exercise, bad prison food and poor sleep,” Mr. Monterosso said. Mr. Lapointe was forced to take a lot of medication, he added.

Mr. Lapointe's weight had already come into play when he was sentenced in May. A judge reduced his prison term by six months because of the weight-related hardships endured during his 20 months of detention after his arrest.

In its decision this week, the Quebec Parole Board cited Mr. Lapointe's health – along with factors such as good behaviour, his non-violent crime and the support of his wife and mother – in justifying early release.

“You have been incarcerated for over 25 months and your prison conditions are difficult because of the state of your health,” the commissioners wrote.

Mr. Lapointe has filed a complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Commission.

“His rights were violated because he wasn't given the tools to rehabilitate himself,” Mr. Monterosso said. “He deserved to be treated with dignity and humanity.”

During his time in jail, Mr. Lapointe's weight increased to around 430 pounds from 300-plus when he was arrested. His lawyer blamed the weight gain on greasy food.

On Tuesday night, after his release from jail, Mr. Lapointe was photographed by a Montreal newspaper outside the prison gate, a cigarette in hand.

“Finally, I'll have a real bed and a chair to sit on,” he told Le Journal de Montréal.

Craig Jones, executive director of the John Howard Society of Canada, said Mr. Lapointe's case is the first he's heard of an inmate asking for special treatment because of his weight. But he expects it will not be the last.

Legislation governing incarceration in Canada requires prisons to adapt their facilities and practices to deal with inmates' individual needs, which can range in severity from allergies to mental illness and physical disabilities.

In many cases, Mr. Jones said, cells have been retrofitted so they can be occupied by prisoners in wheelchairs or with other specific health issues.

Mr. Jones also believes that Canadian correctional institutions should reconsider the diet imposed on inmates, one he said is heavy on carbohydrates.

“The diet is far from optimal, in my opinion,” Mr. Jones said. “If I were a nutritionist and had the ear of Correctional Service Canada, I would be saying migrate them away from white bread and potatoes. But white bread and potatoes are cheap.”

In the United States, weight has already become an issue in the world of crime and punishment.

In May, a Long Island, N.Y., man accused of selling knockoff guitars was arraigned in a pickup truck in aparking lot because at 500 pounds, he was unable to walk into the courthouse.

In 2006, a death-row inmate in Spokane, Wash., died of liver disease 12 years after he was found to be too obese to hang. In 1994, a judge ruled that Mitchell Rupe, who had shot and killed two bank tellers during a robbery, could not be executed because his weight of 400 pounds meant that he might be decapitated.

Stinger
11-12-2008, 10:15 PM
“His health deteriorated in detention from lack of exercise, bad prison food and poor sleep,” Mr. Monterosso said. Mr. Lapointe was forced to take a lot of medication, he added.

You know there is a cure for that .... how about making him work a bit instead of sitting on his buttocks.... Bring back the Chain Gang. They will sleep better and have a good possibility to loose weight.

“His rights were violated because he wasn't given the tools to rehabilitate himself,” Mr. Monterosso said. “He deserved to be treated with dignity and humanity.”

Now there is an idea give them the tools they need ... preferably a pick ax and at a rock quarry.

Demonpenz
11-12-2008, 10:17 PM
i never did like chuck liddell

banyon
11-12-2008, 10:25 PM
I must have missed when this happened:

In May, a Long Island, N.Y., man accused of selling knockoff guitars was arraigned in a pickup truck in aparking lot because at 500 pounds, he was unable to walk into the courthouse.

:spock:

banyon
11-12-2008, 10:26 PM
i never did like chuck liddell

My one-liner was going to be:

Nate Newton can breathe a huge sigh of relief about any probation violations.

Iowanian
11-12-2008, 10:32 PM
It seems that sending his ass to Sheriff Joe in AZ to work on the chain gang would be the ideal solution. He'll just bill the Candadian govt for the green bologna sam'mich and size tent pink drawers.


jail is one place, I'd think no one should leave OBESE after an extended stay.


Don't like jail food and uncomfortable beds? Try NOT BREAKING THE LAW.

Spott
11-12-2008, 10:33 PM
Well, if he gains another 100 lbs he could be a candidate to coach KU football.

thurman merman
11-12-2008, 11:12 PM
Don't like jail food and uncomfortable beds? Try NOT BREAKING THE LAW.

word.

boogblaster
11-13-2008, 12:16 AM
Im headed to Canada and start up my ole felony ways again ...

JuicesFlowing
11-13-2008, 03:00 AM
Prisons are way too soft these days. The US penal system needs to look into the siberian prisons of yesteryear for some ideas ...

ottawa_chiefs_fan
11-13-2008, 06:44 AM
"the softer the cushion, the sweeter the pushin'"!!! - lots of long faces in that prison today.

cookster50
11-13-2008, 07:29 AM
Wow, just, wow.

Crashride
11-13-2008, 07:33 AM
Loophole.

Fat Elvis
11-13-2008, 09:26 AM
Give him liposuction. Prisoners get free health care in prison. Suck the fat right out of him and he can finish his sentence like everyone else.

Ultra Peanut
11-13-2008, 10:16 AM
"you're fat" - dr drew penisky