Robert Latimer Loses Parole Appeal
By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
November 16, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The National Parole Board (NPB) has denied Robert Latimer's appeal of an August 7th ruling that dismissed his request for greater parole freedom.
Latimer, 56, was convicted of second-degree murder and given a life sentence, after he euthanized his 12-year-old daughter in 1993. He has been living in a Victoria, B.C., halfway house since his release on day parole in March 2008.
In a Nov. 5 decision the appeal division of the NPB dismissed Latimer's appeal of the board's August denial of his request to sleep away from the halfway house five nights a week and only spend weekend nights at his halfway house.
Latimer argued that he had an 'exceptional circumstance' that justified the lighter parole. He needed the time, he said, because of his busy schedule, between holding a job, studying to be an electrician, and managing his Saskatchewan family business from a distance.
The appeal division found Latimer had "not raised any grounds that would cause us to intervene and modify the board's decision to not grant your request for expanded leave privileges."
"Day parole is inherently more restrictive than full parole," the parole board's statement said, and noted that Latimer had already been granted leave "beyond the norm for other offenders." Latimer gets five consecutive days extended leave per month.
"The appeal division felt that the board had interpreted the policy correctly," Patrick Story, a parole board spokesman, told the Canadian Press.
"The intention of day parole is that there will be a certain amount of structure and support in the release and that truly exceptional circumstances have to be occurring in the individual's case in order to grant the kind of extended leave privileges that Mr. Latimer was seeking."
Latimer, who has never expressed remorse for the killing, maintained that he had acted "out of love" and that he had had no choice but to kill his daughter. He became a cause célèbre with euthanasia activists who engaged in a media campaign to depict him as a victim of an unjust legal system.
When Tracy's death was discovered, Robert Latimer at first lied to police, saying that she had died in her sleep. He later confessed to police, who had done an autopsy, that he had killed his daughter by placing her in the cab of his truck and connecting a hose from the cab to the truck's exhaust pipe. He also confessed to having considered other methods of killing Tracy, including Valium overdose and "shooting her in the head."
Latimer will be able to apply for full parole in December 2010.
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