OTTAWA, Sept 10 ( – The Catholic Group for Health, Justice and Life, representing the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic Women’s League, the Catholic Health Association and the Knights of Columbus, has filed for intervenor status with the Supreme Court of Canada in the Robert Latimer case. It is expected to be heard in about six months.

Latimer is a Saskatchewan resident who used his car as a makeshift gas chamber to kill his 12-year-old disabled daughter Tracy in 1993. After being convicted of second-degree murder the verdict was scrapped for a new trial over a technicality. In the second trial, Latimer was again found guilty of murder, but the judge allowed a constitutional exemption from the mandatory 10-year minimum sentence, giving him only 2 years, half of which could be served at home. The sentence was appealed by the Crown, and the constitutional exemption was revoked. Latimer also appealed his conviction. He has been free on bail awaiting the Supreme Court hearing. 

The Catholic Group argues that “no one, including a mother or father, should be granted the total exercise of arbitrary power over another human being. Granting Mr. Latimer the power to decide on death rather than life for his daughter, either through the defense of necessity, a constitutional exemption, or as a surrogate decision maker would facilitate the exercise of that arbitrary power while devaluing the life of his child.”

See the press release from the Catholic Group.

For background on the case see:
Supreme Court Likely To Hear Latimer Appeal