Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Parole board denies Robert Latimer expanded parole privileges

Tracy Latimer
This article was in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix and reprinted in the Regina Leaderpost. It explains that Robert Latimer, who gassed to death his daughter Tracy (who had Cerebral Palsy) in the cab of his truck in 1993, was denied expanded parole privileges.

I have avoided commenting on the Latimer parole stories because I believe that his second-degree murder conviction was just and he should be treated like any other person who was convicted of second-degree murder.

I had some concerns when he was released a few years ago on early parole, but this article shows that the Parole Board is treating him like any other person convicted of second-degree murder.

To treat him differently would devalue the life of Tracy Latimer and any other person with a disability who deserves to have their life protected in the same manner as an able-bodied person.

Board denies Robert Latimer's request for expanded parole privileges
Robert Latimer
A request for expanded parole privileges for Robert Latimer has again been denied by the National Parole Board.

Latimer has continued to request parole conditions that would allow him to be away five nights a week from the B.C. halfway house where he is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder.

Latimer, 57, was convicted in 1997 of killing his severely disabled daughter in 1993. He has lived in a Victoria, B.C., halfway house since he was released on day parole in March 2008.

Though he has continued to appeal for "five and two" parole, which would allow him to report two nights per week while on day parole, the board has ruled his case does not warrant the "exceptional circumstances" required for this type of leave.

"The issue of whether there are 'exceptional circumstances' has already been resolved by the appeal division, and the board has nothing to indicate that the Federal Court has reversed this decision," says his pre-release decision sheet.

Latimer's day parole will be continued under the same special conditions as the last time it was granted. He is to not have responsibility for or make decisions for any severely disabled individuals and he must follow psychological counselling to prepare for his reintegration into the community.

Latimer has monthly leave privileges of 120 hours per month in order to visit his family in Wilkie, about 160 kilometres west of Saskatoon.

The July 21 report from the parole board says Latimer continues to pursue vocational training and is of low risk to reoffend. He is eligible for full parole on Dec. 8.

Latimer began serving a mandatory life sentence for second-degree murder on Dec. 1, 1997, in the 1993 death of his disabled daughter, Tracy.


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