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Charter Case Analysis: R.V.Latimer

1463 words - 6 pages

Charter Case Analysis: R.v.Latimer

Case Summary
This case was about a father by the name of Bob Latimer, this man had a daughter who was suffering with a disease called cerebral palsy. The disease was unfortunately entrenched with his daughter since her birth and was caused by brain damage. The disease made her immobile with the exception of the rare movements she showed through facial expressions or head movements. Twelve year old Tracey Latimer was in continuous pain every moment of her life and she was incapable of taking care of herself despite her age. She was bedridden and could not communicate with anyone in her family; she was more like a living corpse. Hoping only to better her condition, her family took her through several surgeries where some were successful but did not really benefit her in any way. Tracey had five to six seizures everyday and her condition would only get worse. All this was unbearable to her father Mr. Latimer like it would be to any loving father and it was then that he decided to end her pain and suffering. Latimer put Tracey into the cab of his truck and suffocated her. He did this by attaching a pipeline into the exhaust of the cab and this allowed carbon monoxide to enter the car which eventually leads to the painless death of his daughter. He was first convicted in 1994 of second degree murder with a life sentence term of 25 years and without parole for 10 years. Latimer then appealed his case to the Supreme Court and the previous decision was upheld. However, there was an error found in the procedure of the trial as some of the jury members were questioned on their beliefs in relation to the crime on the basis of religion, mercy killings, and etc. which then constituted the trial as unfair under the law which enabled Latimer to get a new trial. The second trial came and Latimer was then again sentenced with second degree murder, but this time with a sentence to one year in jail followed by one year with parole. The jurors felt that the act was not a vicious crime but it was committed out of love for the man’s daughter. Unfortunately, things did not get easier or better for Latimer from here because the case was back in the courts on October 19th 1998, and the sentencing term was argued upon once again. They were allowed to appeal the court’s decision because Latimer did not receive the minimum sentence for his crime and the crown argued that he should still be sentenced with the life in prison term and parole after 10 years and that is what eventually came to be the decision for Latimer’s case on November 23rd of the year 1998. This Case had an interesting series of trials as his sentencing term was constantly being changed and even after he had gotten close to his goal of being acquitted, his case was challenged again.
Relation to the Charter/Statutory Law
Bob Latimer used his S.24 (1) as well as his S.12 rights from the Charter of Canadian Rights and Freedoms to argue his case. The S.24 (1) right enables...

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