The court hears arguments in case #26980, Robert Latimer v. The Queen, on June 14, 2001.
On October 24, 1993, Robert Latimer killed his daughter Tracy, who was severely disabled. After initially concealing what he had done, Mr. Latimer confessed that he had killed Tracy, out of mercy. He was ultimately convicted of first-degree murder. A new trial was ordered by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1997 because the prosecutor in the original trial had interfered with the jury selection process. In the second trial, Mr. Latimer was found guilty of second-degree murder. In his appeal to the Supreme Court, Mr. Latimer argues that two factors in the second trial rendered the verdict unfair. First, the trial judge refused to rule on whether the jury could consider the defense of necessity until after closing submissions. Second, Mr. Latimer claims that the trial judge’s instructions to the jury concerning sentencing recommendations were misleading.
David Brown presents arguments on behalf of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, an intervener in the case. Edward Greenspan makes arguments on behalf of Mr. Latimer.