Latimer Case

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Case study
Halina Paerhati
Despite the public’s belief that Robert Latimer’s mandatory minimum 10 years sentence to be “cruel and unusual punishment”, I personally am satisfied with this sentence. In spite of the fact that the love Robert Latimer had for his disabled daughter is what inspired him to put her out of her misery, the judge and jury offered him the constitutional exemption” found him guilty of second degree murder as opposed to first degree. That was enough mercy for this man. It was a fair sentence when all aspects of the case are considered. One must realize that although it was a compassionate homicide, this case was not a matter of necessity and Latimer’s lawyer’s defense in consideration of section 12 of the charter of freedom is not valid. I believe in balancing all compassionate factors involved when deciding what is just in a murder case. One must also consider the future impact a decision will have. Our system is after all, based on precedents. Latimer’s shown of no regret for killing his daughter, and the case directly involves a threat to the future rights of disabled people. He has been granted a great enough degree of mercy by charging him with second degree murder. Tracy Latimer's disability is the only consideration which allows Mr. Latimer to suggest that it was somehow justifiable for him to murder his child. His defense that such an action was the necessary and his responsibility in order to prevent the pain and suffering that Tracy would have been forced to endure. This is where the justice of subjective opinions comes into play. The community may feel the parent’s compassion and distress at seeing his child suffer and believe the man should receive lighter sentence. The Court ruled that subjective views could not influence an assessment whether the crime is worse, equal or lesser than the threatened danger to the criminal. In law, a judge must be able to look beyond the reasonable doubt and consider the harm in taking one’s...
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