Pardon for Robert Latimer Would Condone Murder and Disregard the Lives of Persons with Disabilities
TORONTO, ON - The Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) strongly urges Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, and the Government of Canada to do what is right: deny convicted murderer Robert Latimer's recent application for a pardon.
In 1993, Mr. Latimer murdered his 12-year-old daughter Tracy, who had cerebral palsy, by piping exhaust fumes into the cab of his truck. Despite his appeals, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld his conviction for second-degree murder.
The taking of another life represents the most serious crime in our criminal justice system. A suggestion that Mr. Latimer had no option but to murder his daughter has already been soundly rejected by the Supreme Court of Canada after an extensive and exhaustive analysis.
The evidence at the trials of Mr. Latimer was clear - Tracy was not dying, and her pain could be managed. Joy Bacon, President of the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL), said, "The court found that Tracy's life was, in fact, worth living while her father had not. Tracy was robbed of her opportunity to flourish as a human being. As such, a pardon for Mr. Latimer would be a direct injustice to Tracy and her legacy and perpetuate society's stigmatization against persons who have disabilities."
Canada's Supreme Court highlighted in their decision that Tracy, enjoyed music, bonfires, being with her family and the circus. She liked to play music on a radio, which she could use with a special button. Tracy could recognize family members, and she would express joy at seeing them. Tracy also loved being rocked gently by her parents.
CACL Executive Vice-President Krista Carr said, "We trust the Prime Minister and Minister of Justice will reject Mr. Latimer's request definitively and without equivocation, in respect of the Supreme Court's reasoned analysis and upholding of the conviction for second-degree murder. To do otherwise would perpetuate the widespread and dangerous societal stereotype that the lives of persons with disabilities are not worth living."
- 30 -
Media Contact: Kurt Goddard, Director of Policy & Program Operations, CACL, firstname.lastname@example.org.