Latimer granted full parole

Robert Latimer, the Saskatchewan farmer convicted of second-degree murder for killing his severely disabled daughter, has been granted full parole.

Robert Latimer, the Saskatchewan farmer convicted of second-degree murder for killing his severely disabled daughter in 1993, has been granted full parole.

The loosening of Latimer's parole restrictions will take effect Dec. 6, his lawyer told CBC News on Monday.

That's the first day Latimer was eligible to receive full parole, Jason Gratl said in a brief interview.

Gratl declined to comment further, but said the National Parole Board reached the decision in consultation with Latimer's psychologist.

Gratl said Latimer does not want to discuss the conditions of his release or his current emotional state. Gratl added that he wasn't authorized to speak on his client's behalf.

Latimer, 58, was first granted day parole in March 2008 and has been seeking looser parole conditions since August 2009.

In September, the parole board ruled he could be away from his Victoria halfway house for five days a week, but had to check in on the other two days.

Gratl wouldn't say whether Latimer plans to return to Saskatchewan.

Supervised for the rest of his life

The 58-year-old's case continues to generate debate across Canada about euthanasia and the rights of people with disabilities.

Latimer has always contended that he acted out of compassion when he killed his 12-year-old daughter, Tracy, on his family's farm in the area of Wilkie, Sask., in 1993.

He said she 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.

The life sentence means he'll be under some form of supervision by the justice system for the rest of his life.

In prior parole decisions, Latimer has been described as a model resident of the halfway house and the board noted his co-operation with his supervision requirements.

While in B.C., he has been studying a trade, working and — from a distance — managing the family farm located about 150 kilometres west of Saskatoon.

With files from The Canadian Press