Surrounded by family, Adam Capay walked free from Canada’s criminal justice system for the first time in over six years on Monday.
Capay, in his mid-20s, is a member of the Lac Seul First Nation.
As he awaited trial, Capay was sentenced to solitary confinement.
He spent 52 months in a Plexiglas cell with the lights on 24 hours a day.
On Monday, an Ontario Superior Court Justice ruled that treatemnt had violated Capay’s rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Judge John Fregeau stayed the murder charge against Capay, effectively ending the prosecution.
A publication ban remains in effect on the reasons for the judge’s decision, but it appears to suggest that the harm caused by the state’s treatment of Capay in prison outweighs the first-degree murder charge.
When Capay’s extended confinement became public knowledge, the federal government ordered a review of the use of segregation in jails and a 30-day-consecutive-day limit for inmates held in discliplinary segregation was reduced to 15 days.
The review of the case, released in 2017, called for an end to indefinite segregation of inmates in provincial jails but did not call for an outright ban.
The publication ban is expected to be lifted on Feb. 27 when the window to appeal the decision closes.
With files from CP, CBC, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star