CBC Resurrects Latimer Case as Justification for Euthanasia

Prof says strong media bias "accelerates the forces that ensure future violence and more deaths"
Thu Mar 2, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST

By Terry Vanderheyden

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, March 1, 2006 ( – Robert Latimer is appealing to the newly elected Conservative government and the Supreme Court to revisit his conviction for killing his disabled daughter in 1993 – with the CBC complicit in his quest.

The CBC revealed today that it is airing an exclusive Melissa Fung interview with the killer from his prison cell. The full interview will air on CBC’s The National tonight. Speaking to CBC radio this morning, Fung said that Latimer blames his prison sentence on religious fundamentalists such as right to life groups having influenced the Canadian Supreme Court.

Meanwhile a Calgary Sun newspaper poll last year revealed that over 92% of 500 people said Latimer was justified in killing his disabled 12-year-old daughter, who had cerebral palsy. In that same month, 11 jurors on a Saskatchewan court unanimously found Latimer guilty of second degree murder. The probability of such a discrepancy is less than one in 10,000, according to University of Alberta professor Dick Sobsey.

Prof. Sobsey contends that the only explanation for such a discrepancy is that the Canadian media “systematically distorted the information from the trial that they provided to the public.”

Approaching the Latimer issue from his perspective as a disability and violence researcher, Prof. Sobsey argues that “the attitudes that justify ‘mercy killing’ of people with disabilities are viewed not only as a symptom of discrimination and violence, they are also viewed as a fundamental cause of future violence. The bias of the Canadian news media not only trivializes the murder of one child with a disability, it also accelerates the forces that ensure future violence and more deaths,” he adds.

See Prof. Sobsey’s article, “The Medi and Robert Latimer” at:

See related coverage:
  Protecting the Lives of People with Disabilities: The Robert Latimer Case
  Ten years minimum
  Disabled Rights Activist Mark Pickup
  The Effect of Latimer Examined After His First Year in Prison

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