Sponsored Collection

Atlantic Books for the Holidays

9781552775196_cover

Robert Latimer

A story of justice and mercy

by Gary Bauslaugh

0 ratings
rated!
rated!
0 of 5
comments: 0
reviews: 0
tagged:
add a tag
Please login or register to use this feature.

criminals & outlaws
list price: $29.95
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook
published: 2010
ISBN:9781552775196
imprint: Lorimer
Description

In October 1993, Robert Latimer, a Saskatchewan farmer, decided to end the life of his chronically ill daughter rather than subject her to another painful surgery. Tracy, who had the mental capacity of a five-month-old infant, was twelve at the time of her death. She had already endured multiple operations to correct conditions caused by her severe cerebral palsy. Tracy's death and the charge of murder laid against Robert Latimer set in motion Canada's most famous and controversial case of "mercy killing." The case sparked a national debate about euthanasia and the rights of the severely disabled that continues today. Author Gary Bauslaugh takes us back to the beginning of this case, describes its explosion on the national scene during two highly publicized trials, and looks at later conflicts surrounding Latimer's parole hearing. In clear, insightful prose, Bauslaugh discusses the conflicting views of Latimer's sympathizers and detractors in chapters that explore the ethical dilemmas as well as the legal issues that this case has raised. As a reporter who has followed the case from its beginnings and interviewed Latimer multiple times during his imprisonment and subsequent parole, Bauslaugh's intimate knowledge of the personalities and facts of this difficult case allow him to write a revealing and informed book.

close this panel
Contributor notes

GARY BAUSLAUGH'S investigative writing has appeared in many publications, including The Skeptical Inquirer, The Vancouver Sun, and The Humanist. He contributed an essay on the debate about creationism versus evolution in Universities at Risk (2008). He was Editor of Humanist Perspectives for five years and has served as President of the Humanist Association of Canada. He was a teacher and an administrator in Canadian colleges and universities for many years. He lives in Duncan, BC.

close this panel
Editorial Reviews

"Robert Latimer: A Story of Justice and Mercy does not pretend to be an impartial history of this emotionally charged case, but instead forcefully advocates that Latimer deserves the kind of mercy he felt he showed to his daughter. Bauslaugh savages the Parole Board appointees who appeared to be making an example of Latimer, and also makes a convincing argument that jury nullification, though frowned upon by the Supreme Court of Canada, was an avenue that should have been open to Latimer and his legal counsel.... ...Robert Latimer: A Story of Justice and Mercy, which was released earlier this month, is thought-provoking, and effectively raises issues that will have to be dealt with, once and for all, by the justice system."

— Damian J. Penny is a family law practitioner with Bedford Law Inc. in Bedford, N.S.

"Gary Bauslaugh has researched and written the most devastating book that I have read in many decades. He has devoted his time and talent to drawing attention to the injustices that have befallen Robert Latimer. He deserves my thanks and those of the thousands of readers who will in the near future feel as I do."

— John Robert Colombo, author & anthologist.

"Gary Bauslaugh has done a good job...of clearly explaining with documentation the Latimer case and the wider implications of the law and so-called 'mercy killing.' He certainly makes an excellent case for the application of mercy to those caught in horrific circumstances, such as Robert Latimer was — and probably still is."

— Victoria Times Colonist

"[Robert Latimer: A Story about Justice and Mercy presents a very human perspective of Latimer's plight as perceived by him, and gives the reader some feel for what it must have been like to have been in Latimer's position when faced with continued medical treatment for Tracy and the virtual certainty of the continuing deterioration in her quality of life? It also presents the readers with a fundamental question: What they would do if they were in a similar position — and how they would justify their choice? Is it worth reading? Yes - definitely."

— Eike Kluge, Professor of Applied Ethics, University of Victoria

"A passionate indictment of a legal system that failed an honest, hardworking Prairie farmer who paid an unconscionable price for his act of love and mercy."

— William Deverell, author of <i>Snow Job</i>

"Robert Latimer's retrial-by-parole-board exposed a fundamental weakness in Canada's criminal justice system that should focus more on reintegration and less on punishment. Whatever one thinks of the merits of Latimer's case he does not present a credible threat to public safety and should have been accorded the dignity of that fact."

— Craig Jones, Executive Director, The John Howard Society of Canada

"Civil liberties, in their complete sense, involve aspects of both legality and humanity. Gary Bauslaugh's book combines these two in an informative, intelligent, clearly written and nuanced way while discussing the Robert Latimer case and asking whether legality is always justice. I learned a good deal from this book -- it will make you think."

— Robert Weyant, Emeritus Professor of General Studies, The University of Calgary

"The prosecutorial and Parole Board vindictiveness and cruelty -- why? Of course they have a job to do, but why pursue it with such punishing vigour?"

— Robert Rowan, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, The University of British Columbia

"Gary Bauslaugh offers a diligent, detailed and passionate analysis of the Robert Latimer story?He paints a fair picture of an honest man in an impossibly complex and desperate situation in which any of us could find ourselves?A timely book as our society deals with the role of religious motivations in public debates about the values of life and death."

— Justin Trottier, Executive Director, Centre for Inquiry, Canada

"This book promises to ensure that Canadians will not forget the unpardonable injustice inflicted by our legal system upon Robert Latimer and his family. Despite some differences over the points that Gary Bauslaugh has chosen to emphasize, I believe that we all stand to be enriched by his pithy book. It exposes pivotal defects in Canadian law, and does so with a compelling account of the human suffering involved."

— A. Alan Borovoy, General Counsel Emeritus, Canadian Civil Liberties Association

The author "effectively weaves the tragic events surrounding the Latimer family into a call for enlightened legislation."

— Winnipeg Free Press

"Robert Latimer's story is the ultimate antidote to the tendency to see the law in abstract terms. The supposed virtue of our legal system is its ability to temper law with justice. This book sets out clearly the many barriers to that goal- naiveté of accused, pop-psychology misconceptions, prosecutorial zeal, professional incompetence, uninformed and biased political and media pressure- among many others. Gary Bauslaugh has written a book that should be on every law school curriculum and on every politician's and justice professional's reading list. The questions he raises about end-of-life issues deserve wide debate, but at the end of the day, as the Latimer case illustrates, even if we do change our laws, we will always need to find justice for those good people who are on the wrong side of the law for the right reasons."

— Kim Campbell, former Justic Minister and Prime Minister of Canada

"An essential book by one of the closest persons to the man and his homicide. Gary Bauslaugh, whose intervention was key to Robert Latimer's parole — takes us inside the heart and mind of the accused, and chronicles the twists and turns of a justice system struggling to come to terms with the hardest of hard cases. Beautifully written into the bargain."

— John Dixon, former President, British Columbia Civil Liberties Association
close this panel

Buy this book at:


About the Author

Gary Bauslaugh

GARY BAUSLAUGH'S investigative writing has appeared in many publications, including The Skeptical Inquirer, The Vancouver Sun, and The Humanist. He contributed an essay on the debate about creationism versus evolution in Universities at Risk (2008). He was Editor of Humanist Perspectives for five years and has served as President of the Humanist Association of Canada. He was a teacher and an administrator in Canadian colleges and universities for many years. He lives in Duncan, BC.
Author profile page >

Other titles by Gary Bauslaugh

more >

User Activity

more >
X
Contacting facebook
Please wait...