Man sentenced to life in prison says killing daughter was “right thing to do”

Robert Latimer, the Canadian man sentenced to life in prison for the mercy killing of his severely disabled daughter in 1993, said he would do so again if he had to.  In his first interview since his release from prison on parole, Mr Latimer attacked an “inflexible and malicious” justice system that showed “a real eagerness to do as much damage to me, especially, as they possibly could."

Latimer rose to national prominence and launched a debate over euthanasia when he killed his 12-year-old daughter Tracy. She had suffered severe pain from cerebral palsy, and could not walk, talk or feed herself. Her father chose to end her suffering by pumping exhaust into his car and asphyxiating her.

A jury convicted him of second-degree murder and he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Upon appeal, the sentence was shortened to two years, less a day, but a final appeal to the Supreme Court upheld the original sentence. Latimer was granted full parole in December after serving nine years of the sentence, and three years after he told a parole hearing that he still believed killing his daughter was the right thing to do.

"People think it's a hard question, but it's not," Latimer said when asked if he would kill Tracy again if he had to. "It was the right thing to do. She'd had enough." He said his only regret was that a decade in prison kept him away from sharing time with his other children on the farm. ~ Vancouver Sun, Feb 18

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