SHOULD LATIMER GET OUT THIS TIME?

In 1993 David Latimer killed his severely disabled 12-year-old daughter and was eventually sentenced to life in prison. On Decembe 5 the Parole Board denied his latest bid for parole saying it was “struck” by Latimer’s lack of remorse. (Latimer has always argued that killing his daughter was an act of mercy.)

Latimer has now filed an appeal against the Board’s decision to keep him in prison. His appeal is predicated on three points:

The Board failed to taken into consideration the lenient sentencing recommendations of his first judge and of two of his juries.

The Board ruled against all the available evidence that Mr. Latimer presented a risk of reoffending while on day parole.

The Board erred in law by failing to consider the viability of a less restrictive option( than full incarceration) consistent with public policy.

Do you think it’s time to let Robert Latimer go?

23 Comments »

  1. 1
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    What’s his position on abortion?

  2. 2
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Latimer has paid his due to human justice. Let him go. The rest is up, for those who believe, to a settlement between him and God. And I guess God will be more human than all of us.

  3. 3
    Chimera Says:

    “What’s his position on abortion?”

    Excuse me, but what does that have to do with the subject at hand? Focus, please. Yeesh…

    Latimer should never have been sent to prison in the first place.

    The parole board in question consists of three people — all political appointees — who have taken it upon themselves to ignore everyone else in their determination to wield their power before their cushy jobs go poof. I wonder whose backs they are really scratching in return for those government salaries.

  4. 4
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Chimera:

    Here’s 25 cents.

    Go buy yourself a sense of humour.

  5. 5
    SUZANNE Says:

    LOL.

    Latimer did the crime, he should do the time. If you don’t acknowledge that breaking the law is wrong, then you are not “rehabilitated”.

  6. 6
    John Says:

    How many folks get out of prison because they’re “rehabilitated” and how many get out because they’re “lying”. Let’s be realistic.

    I assume, Suzanne, the reason you want folks “rehabilitated” is so there is little chance of them repeating the same act again. If you apply that rationale to Robert Latimer, he should be out.

  7. 7
    SUZANNE Says:

    John

    Rehabilitation does not only mean not repeating what you’ve done, but learning that breaking the law is wrong.

    I want convicts who do not understand their error to remain in prison.

  8. 8
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Suzanna,
    By your own standards, Latimer should be freed. He knows he broke the law. He is most unlikely to repeat his gesture. He says he acted mercifully which is why the Commission refuses to free him. Would you rather see him lie as so many others have done and are now free?

  9. 9
    John Says:

    Clearly the mandate of the Parole Board is to determine the degree to which a person is a risk of reoffending, not the degree to which they have been “rehabilitated” no matter what definition you use for that term.

  10. 10

    Neil, I think you know where I stand. Free him.

  11. 11
    Chimera Says:

    “Go buy yourself a sense of humour.”

    Ha! I graduated from the Three Stooges brand of humor long ago, and that’s about what a quarter would buy these days (in fact, you’d probably get change). But in future, if you want to signal humor, you might try using an emoticon so we can at least look for it… 🙂 …eh?

  12. 12
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    It’s like the old adage “if you have to ask how much it is, you probably can’t afford it”, Chimera: if you need an emoticon to identify humour, you’re probably not going to “get it” anyway.

  13. 13
    Chimera Says:

    Heh. As I said, I graduated long ago, so yeah, sometimes a sign post helps. I don’t read Dick and Jane anymore, either. I can read grown-up books, now.

  14. 14
    SUZANNE Says:

    By your own standards, Latimer should be freed. He knows he broke the law.

    He does not know that breaking the law is wrong. He does not realize his error.

    Would you rather see him lie as so many others have done and are now free?

    I want him to realize the error of his ways. Honesty isn’t enough.

  15. 15
    SUZANNE Says:

    Clearly the mandate of the Parole Board is to determine the degree to which a person is a risk of reoffending, not the degree to which they have been “rehabilitated” no matter what definition you use for that term.

    If they don’t understand that breaking the law is wrong, they may well do it again. What’s to say his wife won’t develop a disease and he’ll do it again?

  16. 16
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    As I see it, Latimer’s problem is having committed his deed in a Bible toting region of Canada. Had he been judged in Ontario or Quebec mitigating cifcumstances would have been taken into account and he would have been out of jail a long time ago, if he had gone at all. And we do not have more mercy killing than elsewhere and I never heard of repeat offenders here or elswhere.

  17. 17
    Joe Agnost Says:

    People like suzanne need to come down off their soapbox and show a little compassion. It’s not all black and white you know…

    Don’t you think there’s a chance (suzanne) that Latimer was really sincere about killing his daughter? Don’t you think it’s even possible that it nearly killed him to have to do it? For some reason you seem to want to think he’s the most evil person, acting out of self interest only… but what if you’re wrong?

  18. 18
    John Says:

    “I want him to realize the error of his ways.”

    Assuming this needs to be done (which I don’t), I see nothing we can offer Latimer inside the walls of a prison to help him do it, that we couldn’t offer him on the street as part of his parole.

    I know I’m repeating myself, but keeping him in prison is nothing more than childish bullying…where the bully makes up their mind to keep squeezing until the other poor smuck says “uncle”. As anyone who’s witnessed or been a part of such a situation knows… once that kind of power struggle ensues, it’s very difficult for the bully to walk away and save face at the same time.

  19. 19
    Chimera Says:

    “Honesty isn’t enough.”

    Of course not. For people like you, only abject, quavering, cowardly submission would ever be enough.

    You won’t get what you’re looking for, here. Robert Latimer is a mensch.

  20. 20
    John Says:

    How long does it take a member of Parliament to pass the buck? Apparently about 6 weeks (based on the email I received today):

    Dear Mr. ——-

    On behalf of the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, I acknowledge receipt of your correspondence of December 10, 2007, concerning the sentence being served by Mr. Robert Latimer.

    The matter you raise involves decisions made by the National Parole Board, which is an agency of the Department of Public Safety and therefore falls under the purview of the Honourable Stockwell Day. I have taken the liberty of forwarding a copy of your correspondence to Minister Day for his information and consideration.

    Thank you for writing.
    Yours sincerely,

    L. Bisson
    Manager
    Ministerial Correspondence Unit

    c.c.: The Honourable Stockwell Day, P.C., M.P.
    Minister of Public Safety

    I wonder if anyone has told the National Parole Board that they are part
    of the Department of Public Safety NOT the Department of Justice!

    I repeat public safety NOT justice.

    Given the Latimer decision no wonder that’s the last place folks would look for them.

  21. 21
    Chimera Says:

    Hmmm…the Parole Board is not part of the Justice system. Why does this not surprise me?

    But, hey! at least you got an answer to your email that contained information pertinent to your original inquiry, John! And you got it within twelve months of sending the query in the first place!

    Our tax dollars at work, folks.

  22. 22
    Kate Says:

    Latimer is in jail. Homolka is free. It’s time to let Latimer out.

  23. consolidated credit

    SHOULD LATIMER GET OUT THIS TIME? | Neil McKenty Weblog


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