Latimer paroled

Through the appeals process, the decision to deny Robert Latimer parole has been overturned:

After seven years in prison for killing his severely disabled daughter, Robert Latimer will be freed on day parole this week.

The appeal division of the National Parole Board this afternoon overturned a parole board decision last December that rejected Mr. Latimer’s bid for parole.

The appeal division, following a month-long review, concluded Mr. Latimer does not in fact pose an undue risk to reoffend.


In its decision in December, a three-member panel of the parole board concluded: “You could not or would not describe the feelings or thoughts underlying your actions at the time of the offence…. You appear satisfied with the position that you and only you were able to determine her life or death, describing such decisions as beyond the law.”

The appeal division, however, found that although Mr. Latimer was at times unfocussed, he was not unwilling to answer their questions.

“The Appeal Division finds that the Board’s determinations in this regard are unreasonable and unsupported. Your responses at the hearing reveal that you did in fact demonstrate insight and were able to explain why you decided to end the life of your daughter.

The appeal division has applied two conditions to his parole: Mr. Latimer cannot have responsibility for, or make decisions for, any individuals who are severely disabled.

See previous post on Latimer here.

Cross-posted at The Gimp Parade

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7 Responses to Latimer paroled

  1. 1
    Robert says:

    “I believe most Canadians will agree with the compassion and wisdom shown by the appeal division.”

    That’s Latimer’s attorney. Isn’t compassion wonderful? How about some compassion for the little girl who gasped out her last minutes in incomprehension, wondering why her daddy was killing her.

    Fuck Robert Latimer, and fuck the appeal division.

  2. 2
    Dianne says:

    The appeal division, following a month-long review, concluded Mr. Latimer does not in fact pose an undue risk to reoffend.

    They’re probably right in the limited sense that he probably won’t reoffend: he doesn’t have any other children, as far as I know. But is this going to set the precedent that it’s ok to kill your kid as long as he or she is disabled and you only do it once? It just doesn’t seem good…quite apart from general issues of justice.

  3. 3
    Penny says:

    I don’t think it sets a precedent, it just continues the usual treatment of such cases in the courts–reduced charges, light sentences (or no sentence at all) if the victim is disabled and the killer was a parent, son, daughter, partner, roommate, paid carer, etc. This site lists many such cases involving victims with autism.

  4. 4
    mythago says:

    Exactly, Dianne – the courts are much more lenient with offenders who victimized family members. They’re not a threat to the rest of us, you see.

  5. 5
    Daisy says:

    Penny, OMG, I expected a few photos and names, not a list like that!

    Those sentences speak volumes, don’t they? No time served for strangling your daughter? Wow.

  6. 6
    RonF says:

    I apparently don’t understand the Canadian parole system. Is the sole criterion by which parole is granted or withheld the parole board’s judgment on whether or not the inmate is likely to re-offend if released? Does “this crime demands more punishment” a factor? Are there established minimum sentences for offenses of this nature?

  7. 7
    mythago says:

    RonF – I doubt if it is the sole criterion. But “likelihood of re-offending” is an element considered by every parole board I’ve ever heard of. It has the effect of excusing crimes against relatives.