Friday, March 21, 2008

Sometimes the news makes me nuts.

I realize that some news that I get crazed about old news that I'm just now revisiting. (or having the time to think about and research)

This for instance. Robert Latimer isn't exactly a household name to many. But to some he's become a rallying point for two very extreme sides of an issue that by it's very nature is one that most people don't even want to think about, let alone define in terms of legality, moral right and wrong and last but not least religion. Forget about compassion or intelligent, logical thought; they aren't on the table with this issue.

The short version is, Mr. Latimer was convicted of 2nd degree murder for putting his severely disabled daughter in a truck and connecting a hose from the exhaust, thereby exposing her to carbon monoxide which caused her death.

I've had several conversations about this case over the years, dating from when he was originally convicted and on through the years (12) when he's been denied parole, over and over. Disregarding the reccommendations of the jury and the ruling of the judge in his case, I might add.

Recently, I had an online conversation, and saved a few of my comments.

First of all, let me point out that my mother was a polio survivor, whose body was stunted on one side, leaving her a hunchback from age 7. Second of all, you don't know me so don't bother with the hate mail. I have my opinions, you're welcome to yours. I have a blog to air mine, get your own, if all you plan on doing is bitching at me for thinking and believing as I do. That said, if you've got an opinion that doesn't smack of raw hate for me because I have an opinion and are willing to keep the name calling and other silliness to nil, then by all means, feel free to comment. I freely admit that my beliefs about certain aspects of this are rather broad and based solely on news media reporting; but they are no less my own despite that.

I really am not sure what my biggest confusion with all of this is. I understand that Mr. Latimer broke the law, and that he was convicted of it in a court of law and must serve time as a result. Fine, yes. I believe in the law and that when a law is unjust or unfair that there are ways, legal ways, to change the law and that breaking it just because it is unfair or unjust is still an illegal act.


We're past all that. He's been convicted. He did what he did for his own reasons and has refused to admit remorse. There in, appears, to lie the rub. The parole board has repeatedly refused this man parole. Citing his lack of remorse. It is my understanding (and I could well be wrong) that the parole board here in Canada is not allowed by its mandate to require admission of guilt. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't requiring someone to admit to remorse regarding an act they are imprisioned for, an admission of guilt?

The crux of all this, is the special interest group that has taken it upon themselves to make sure this 'monster' stays incarcerated. They want to make sure that all special needs / severely disabled people are safe, you see.

Not really pertinent if you ask me. This wasn't a random act of murder. This wasn't a hate crime against a race, creed, religion or anything else. This was, and I really believe this, an act of compassion.

So yes, of course, Mr. Latimer is going to rush out the very moment he's free on parole and murder the very next handicapped person he sees. Sure.. right... He's probably sitting in his cell jonesing for his next *thrill kill*

Give me a freakin' break.

How incredibly rude of these people with their special interest groups to intrude upon his very personal decision and journey.

We vilify people daily who 'mistreat' an animal they have lived with and loved in their home for years and years and who find it difficult to do the 'right thing' and let this animal go with dignity. It's RIGHT to kill off an animal that is experiencing pain and has outlived its usefulness. It's WRONG to let them continue to suffer and how horrible these people are to put their own selfish feelings above the wellbeing of their animals.

And yet, every day, these very same people INSIST that maintaining a human being in similar circumstances is THE RIGHT THING TO DO. Even when they can't speak and their eyes are pleading with you to let them go, we have to do it. It's right and it's the law.

I'm not stupid enough to think that we should just have a carte blanche on euthenasia. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Don't like your Aunt Edna and the way she smells? Off to the "doctor" she goes. Yea, not gonna happen and shouldn't happen.

I'm also not proposing that we need a law that allows for euthenasia. I'm simply saying that Robert Latimer has served his time. Let him be. He was convicted and has and is serving his time. More time by the way than most do for the same level of crime. It'll be interesting to see how much time the First Nations woman (and I mention that she's First Nations because eventually someone will so I thought I'd get there first) who shoved a young man under the C-train will serve. I'm betting maybe 5 years? I'm sure the special interest groups are already aligning.

I believe we need to stop letting special interest groups with no real connection to the situation use such very personal things as spring boards for their own agendas.

These days it seems that if you haven't got a special interest or belong to a particular minority of some sort or another, you don't really stand much of a chance.

If everyone wants so very desperately to be treated equally, perhaps the solution isn't lobbying for the right 'to be who are but still considered equal'. That by it's very definition isn't. Maybe it's time to really look at what being equal means and stop being so determined to be treated 'special'.