Latimer's day parole loosened
Sask. farmer convicted in daughter's death lives in Victoria halfway house
Robert Latimer, the Saskatchewan man serving a life sentence for killing his disabled daughter in October 1993 has won more time away from a Victoria halfway house by the National Parole Board.
In a decision released Wednesday, the board says Latimer may now be on his own for five days a week. He must report to the halfway house where he has been living since September 2008 for two days of the week.
Latimer, 56, was first granted day parole in March 2008 and had been seeking looser parole conditions since August 2009.
Following his request, the parole board initially granted him a day parole regime with two nights away from a halfway house.
Latimer challenged that decision in Federal Court, and on Aug. 5, a judge ordered the parole board to reconsider the matter.
In addition to his bed at the Victoria halfway house, Latimer maintains an apartment in the community.
A model resident
In its decision approving the looser day parole terms, the board said Latimer has been "co-operative and compliant with supervision requirements."
Latimer's supervisors also described him as a model resident of the halfway house.
"Given that there are no concerns regarding your behaviour in the community and that, in fact, you have demonstrated positive and pro-social progress, the board concludes that your risk to re-offend is not undue at this time," the two-person panel reviewing his case said.
Latimer's case continues to generate debate across Canada about euthanasia and the rights of the disabled.
Latimer has always contended that he acted out of compassion when he killed his daughter Tracy, who was in severe pain because of complications from cerebral palsy.
After an initial trial that was thrown out because of jury interference, he was convicted in a second trial of second-degree murder and in 1998 was sentenced to life with no opportunity for full parole for 10 years. Latimer appealed that sentence, but it was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2001.
On Dec. 8, the 10-year mark will arrive.
Latimer has begun the process to seek full parole. A hearing is expected in the fall.
While in B.C., he has been studying a trade, working and — from a distance — managing the family farm in the Wilkie area of Saskatchewan, about 150 kilometres west of Saskatoon.