Hard Cases Make Bad Law

(17 November 1997) — Most lawyers agree with the old adage that "hard cases make bad law." Tailoring our laws to fit a few exceptions almost invariably means that they will fail to fit a much larger number of typical cases. We believe that changing the laws to respond to overwhelming public sentiment that Robert Latimer deserves a lighter sentence will almost certainly result in many new problems for Canadian law and society.

To understand what these new problems will be, we need to consider three possible alternatives for making these changes:

Honoring Tracy Latimer

(5 November 1997) — I wanted to say that I appreciate your organization's attendance at the trial and your defense of Tracy and others before the media. I read the Latimer Watch entries on the CCD web page and today was moved to reply because of what you wrote about parents. I am appalled at Latimer's defense of "necessity". I try to be an ally of people with disabilities. My own brother was banished from our family at birth because he had Down's Syndrome. He died alone in a horrible institution of pneumonia at the age of 8.

Remembering Tracy: Tony Diamanti Speaks Out

[3 November 1997]

by Tony Diamanti

We remember a beautiful little girl's life that was cut short, way too short. Although her death was caused at the hands of her father, I believer her death was also contributed to by an ignorant, and sometimes apathetic society.

Tracy Latimer's death was in the most part, viewed as a mercy killing, rather than a tragic loss of a young girl's life. Tracy was severely disabled and non-speaking, much as I am considered to be by society's standards.

Responding to Dying with Dignity: Sobsey and Wolbring Speak Out

(November 3, 1997) — We would like to comment on a statement that the Calgary Herald printed by Marilynne Seguin, a founding member of Dying with Dignity who is quoted in the article saying "a few vocal disabled groups have been speaking loudly and meddling in the case. I don't know how Mr. Latimer can receive justice. He has suffered in so many ways and to such a degree none of us could even imagine it."

One of Our Children is Dead

[31 October 1997]

by Cheryl M. Eckstein (This article previously appeared in Abilities Magazine, Vol. 5 No. 2 Winter 1996/97.)

On October 24, 1993, Tracy Latimer was lifted up from her warm bed and carried out into the crisp autumn air and placed into the front seat of her father's truck. After her father propped her up with some old rags he had taken from his storage shed, he closed the doors. What once was a vehicle that took her to school and camping, was now temporarily refurbished as a gas chamber.

Afraid for Our Lives

by Elizabeth Derouin

(30 October 1997) — Two weeks ago, I read a couple of articles in the CCD Latimer Watch that made me ill. The articles were based on euthanasia. One of the victims was Tracy Latimer...and the other was Katie Lynn Baker who had been starved to death.

...Euthanasia is growing to a point where it is only a question of time where society will be making life and death decisions for people with disabilities as a whole, and determining their worth to the human race. No one is entitled to play the role of God, if there is one.

Private Members Bill Likely: Svend Robinson Urges Free Vote on Assisted Suicide

(29 October 1997) — On 22 September 1997, New Democrat MP Svend Robinson held a press conference to draw attention once again to the issue of assisted suicide. Mr. Robinson shared with reporters the news that one of his constituents, Natverlal Thakore, 78, had killed himself in Detroit with the assistance of Dr. Jack Kevorkian.

As in many other assisted suicides, disability was an issue in this case as well. Mr. Thakore had Parkinson's disease.

Fundamental Human Rights: An Interview with Jim Derksen

[28 October 1997]

A Personal Perspective

In Quebec some disability organizations used the Charles Blais killing to focus attention on deficits in support services? Is this appropriate?

A Saskatchewan Perspective: Pat Danforth Speaks Out

[27 October 1997]

What activities will the Saskatchewan Voice of People with Disabilities be undertaking during the upcoming trial of Robert Latimer?

During the trial we will have somebody from the Voice in the court at all times. We want to be able to have a good understanding of what is going on during jury selection and during the actual trial.

How has the Saskatchewan media covered the trial in the past?

A Visible Presence: Saskatchewan Voice Will Monitor Latimer's Trial

(23 October 1997) — CCD's member group the Saskatchewan Voice of People with Disabilities will be monitoring Robert Latimer's latest trial, which is scheduled to begin 27 October 1997 in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. CCD and the Saskatchewan Voice intervened in Latimer's 1995 appeal. CCD and the Voice will not be intervening in the proceedings beginning on 27 October because interventions are not usual at the trial level.

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