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Supreme Court Case Study - R. v. Latimer

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Introduction

´╗┐Supreme Court Case Assignment (R. v. Latimer) Abhit Sahota 18/10/2012 CLU3M1-01 Part 1: Case Citation R. v. Latimer (2001) SCC 1 S.C.R. 3 Criminal or Civil Case? Criminal R Regina (Crown) v. ?versus? Defendant Latimer Year 2001 Court Supreme Court of Canada Volume Number 1 Edition - Page Number 3 Part 2: Case Synopsis This was a controversial case that concerned the issue of a mercy killing or assisted suicide. The decision of the case would ignite an ethical battle across Canada due to it?s sensitive nature. Robert Latimer, Saskatchewan resident was convicted of murdering his disabled daughter, Tracy Latimer. The 12 year old girl was diagnosed with cerebral palsy from birth, and had severe physical and mental disabilities. ...read more.

Middle

The appeal had been filed to argue that they had not legally arrested him, but the court ordered a new trial after information about the authorities questioning and picking the jury members based upon their moral standpoints with controversial issues. The second trial at the SCC was concerned with if Mr. Latimer?s sentence was cruel and unusual and a breach of section 12 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The court ruled that his sentence of 10 year minimum sentence was not cruel and unusual. The Crown pointed out that Mr. Latimer?s actions were planned, and he did not regret them. Part 3: Significance of the Judgement Why did the Supreme Court hear this particular case? R. v. Latimer more or less an ethical debate on if mercy killings can be justified. ...read more.

Conclusion

Did the Supreme Court set a precedent? Explain. Yes, the Supreme Court set a precedent on the sentence of mercy killings. There was support for Robert Latimer to receive a more lenient sentence, however the court still treated the case as a second degree murder as it was planned, and the defendant had no regret of his action. Robert Latimer received the minimum 10 year penalty for a second degree murder as he acted out of compassion.\ Other Comments According, to a report in 1999 73% of Canadians felt that Robert Latimer acted out of compassion for his daughter, and 41% believe that mercy killings should not be against the law. All 9 Supreme Court judges were on this case and voted unanimously for the 10 year sentence was not a cruel or unusual punishment. ...read more.

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