By Colter Hettich, Features Editor
Montreal’s Bordeaux Jail released Michel Lapointe, 37, early after he served 25 months. His conviction: Conspiracy, drug trafficking and gangsterism. (Microsoft Word does not even recognize the word gangsterism. That’s how bad it is.) At the time of his arrest, Lapointe weighed in at 375 pounds. Two years later he left, on early parole, a 450-pound, changed man.
What reason did the Montreal Bordeaux Jail have to release a conspiratorial, gangsteristic drug trafficker? Had Lapointe submissively shaved his share of potatoes? Surely some radical demonstration of teamwork or good behavior spurred the release. Maybe an emotional trust-fall? Don’t laugh. When falling person weighs 450 pounds, the exercise becomes a test of sheer determination and selflessness.
Lapointe’s release rewarded no such accomplishments. “An obese inmate who goes by the nickname ‘Big Mike’ has been granted early parole because a Canadian prison could not accommodate his 430-pound frame,” reported the Associated Press.
His release was not a reward; it was an act of mercy. It was the least the facility could do – they did it to him.
According to an Associated Press story,” Defense lawyer Clemente Monterosso said the prison’s poor diet caused his client to gain more than 50 pounds.”
If I ever have the unfortunate opportunity to attend a correctional facility, my first priority will be to meet with the judge. “Your honor, I request to be relocated to the Montreal Bordeaux Jail. I hear their barbecue ribs are to die for.”
Of course, upon his release Claire Lapointe, his mother, said weight problems always always plagued her son, and his problems “were exacerbated” during his stay.
The Journal de Montreal newspaper reported Wednesday that he could not fit on the chair in his cell and that his body protruded 6 inches on either side of his bed when he lied down. Poor Michel. How could he have known about the Canadian prison system’s diabolical plot to fatten him up to the point of ejection? Even if he had wanted to finish serving his time, two other correctional facilities refused to accept him.
“I want a normal life,” Michel told reporters outside the prison. “I’ve done some stupid things and I’ve paid for them.”
You might not be able to pay your way out of jail in dollars, but Michel proved you can pay in pounds.