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Parole condition lifted for Robert Latimer; two others remain

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EDMONTON - The National Parole Board has removed one of the conditions of Robert Latimer's release, but he is still banned from having responsibility for anyone with a significant disability.

The board has ruled that Latimer, who killed his severely disabled 12-year-old daughter, no longer needs one-on-one psychological counselling as part of his full parole.

The board says Latimer's most recent psychological report indicates that he is a low to very low risk "for violent and general reoffending."

"The board agrees with the opinion of your psychologist and your case management team that a special condition related to psychological counselling is not required."

But the board disagreed with Latimer's case managers about whether he should be allowed to care for or make decisions for anyone with a significant disability.

His psychological report indicated that there was an increase in his risk if he had such responsibilities. But his case managers suggested the chances of his being in that situation were unlikely, and strategies and monitoring could be put in place if he were.

The board took no action on the request.

"Given the severity of your offending, the board is not satisfied with this approach and believes that this condition should remain a condition of your full parole release."

Latimer, 60, was convicted of second-degree murder in 1997 and sentenced to life in prison for no chance at parole for 10 years in the death of his daughter.

Tracy, who was 12, had cerebral palsy when he killed her on the family's farm in Wilkie, Sask., by piping exhaust into the cab of his truck in 1993.

He admitted what he did, but said he wanted to end his daughter's chronic, excruciating pain. He has always said he did nothing wrong.

Latimer was first convicted in 1994 and a year later the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal upheld the mandatory minimum sentence of life without parole for 10 years. Jurors in the case had recommended less.

The case went to the Supreme Court of Canada, which ordered a new trial in 1997 because of errors by the RCMP and prosecutor.

Latimer's second trial concluded in November 1997 with another second-degree murder conviction. The case was again appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, which ruled unanimously in January 2001 that Latimer had to serve 10 years in prison.

The board also denied Latimer's request to travel freely outside Canada without having to apply first for a limited time passport.

It said each application for a trip must be assessed on its own merits.

"It is important for the board to be aware of the purpose for the trip as it may related to your risk of reoffending."

Last year, the parole board cleared Latimer to attend a debate on assisted suicide and mercy killings in Britain, but he did not get a visa from United Kingdom Border Services.

Latimer's case has been polarizing in Canada. Some feel he was a caring father who acted out of love for his daughter. Others argue leniency for him would devalue the lives of the disabled.

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