Patrick Craine

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Latimer granted full parole after murdering disabled daughter

Patrick Craine
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VICTORIA, British Columbia, November 30, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Robert Latimer, the infamous euthanasiast who murdered his disabled twelve-year-old daughter in 1993, has been granted full parole.

The 57-year-old, whose daughter, Tracy, suffered from cerebral palsy, announced Monday through his lawyer, Jason Gratl, that the change will take effective on December 6.  The National Parole Board made the decision Thursday, but Gratl, vice-president of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, would not share any other details.

Latimer, a farmer from Saskatchewan, has been on day parole since March 2008, after his 1997 conviction for second-degree murder.

While his wife and other children were at church, Latimer put Tracy in his pickup truck, and ran a hose from the exhaust pipe into the truck’s cabin.  He claimed it was a “mercy killing” - language consistently repeated in major media outlets - and has never expressed remorse for the murder.  In fact, he has leveraged the notoriety he’s won from the case to become a major figurehead for Canada’s euthanasia lobby.

After an appeal to the Supreme Court over sentencing, he was imprisoned in 2001 with a ten-year sentence.  He won an early release after seven years.

Advocates for the disabled have argued that the light treatment given to Latimer is a frightening sign that Canadians with disabilities are not equally valued.

Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, told LifeSiteNews Tuesday that his organization has “always held that Robert Latimer should be treated in the same manner as any other person who was convicted of second-degree murder.”

“The tragedy of the Latimer case was that many people, including many media outlets, were willing to describe Tracy Latimer in a dehumanizing manner in order to defend the heinous crime of her father,” he said.

“It concerns us that my Canadians believe that it is acceptable to kill children with disabilities,” he added.

Schadenberg pointed out that the Netherlands has allowed the euthanizing of disabled children through its Groningen Protocol, and that the Quebec government’s ‘Dying with Dignity’ commission has asked whether euthanasia in the case of such children is an acceptable practice.

“A truly compassionate society will care for its vulnerable members, not kill them,” Schadenberg insisted.

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