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Parole board turns down Robert Latimer's request for easier day parole

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - The National Parole Board has turned down Robert Latimer's request to live on his own during the workweek and only stay at a halfway house on weekends.

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - The National Parole Board has turned down Robert Latimer's request to live on his own during the workweek and only stay at a halfway house on weekends.

The Saskatchewan farmer is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder in the 1993 death of his severely disabled daughter Tracy, 12. Latimer, 56, killed the girl with carbon monoxide.

He was moved to a halfway house in Ottawa last year on day parole and was later transferred to British Columbia.

In his application, Latimer said if he lived on his own he could spend more time managing his Saskatchewan farm, keeping in touch with family and taking vocational courses.

A parole board report said that while Latimer is successfully reintegrating into the community, his request to live on his own does not meet the rules for expanded privileges.

Such expanded release conditions are limited to female, aboriginal, ethnic minority or special needs offenders.

"He was asking for something that is allowed only very rarely," Patrick Story, a parole board spokesman, said Thursday.

"Day parole is supposed to be a structured, very supervised release. Prior to full parole eligibility, the parole board has to be careful in terms of granting that very, very special and kind of unusual privilege."

The board said Latimer will continue to live at a halfway house for another six months pending his next day parole review.

It also notes that Latimer has already been granted leave from the halfway house on numerous occasions.

"You also argue, through your lawyer, that your current restrictions are not reasonable and necessary, nor are they the least restrictive option," the report says.

"The Board points out that you already enjoy expanded leave privileges, well beyond the norm for other offenders, and you have been accommodated on several occasions for even more leave."

Latimer is eligible for full parole in December 2010, but can submit his application a few months before that date.

When someone is granted full parole they can move anywhere in Canada as long as they remain in contact with officials and abide by any release conditions.

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