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Human Rights and Whole-Life prison sentences

Infinite Chaos

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[h=1]Killers' life terms 'breach their human rights'[/h]The European Court of Human Rights has ruled the whole-life tariffs given to murderer Jeremy Bamber and two other killers breached their human rights.
The judges ruled by 16 to 1 that there had to be a possibility of release and review of the sentence.
But they said this did not mean there was "any prospect of imminent release". Link.


I'm in profound disagreement with the EUCHR on this and I don't care that the UK or someone from the UK drafted the original documents (that's to PeteEU). The whole point of a whole-life sentence is that someone has committed crimes so heinous that a judge and jury has agreed that the person will always be a threat to society or that the punishment for the crime is to as severe as possible.

First, votes for prisoners, then Abu Qatada (who we finally got rid off after some £8million in costs) and now this.

Thoughts?
 

HonestJoe

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I'm in profound disagreement with the EUCHR on this and I don't care that the UK or someone from the UK drafted the original documents (that's to PeteEU).
The problem isn't EUCHR. If the UK dropped the Human Rights Act and all it entails, we'd still need a national replacement, ruled on by UK judges and it's worth remembering that some of these cases only go as far as the EUCHR because the UK courts rule against the government and the government appeals. Half the time I suspect the government know they'll still loose but find it politically advantageous to blame European courts rather than British ones.

The whole point of a whole-life sentence is that someone has committed crimes so heinous that a judge and jury has agreed that the person will always be a threat to society or that the punishment for the crime is to as severe as possible.
There was a point in cutting off criminals heads and sticking them on spikes at city gates - that doesn't automatically mean we should keep doing it. To be honest, I think it's a rather petty argument to say some prisoners should never have any kind of review of their sentencing. Again, this strikes me as an entirely political position, presenting a "tough on crime" image without having to actually do anything about crime (plus getting to attack "Europe" regardless of the outcome).

First, votes for prisoners, then Abu Qatada (who we finally got rid off after some £8million in costs) and now this.
Votes for (some) prisoners is a perfectly reasonable idea and Abu Qatada would have been (again) a problem regardless of the EUCHR. As I see it, the problem is on this side of the English Channel.
 

Gardener

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I'm in profound disagreement with the EUCHR on this and I don't care that the UK or someone from the UK drafted the original documents (that's to PeteEU). The whole point of a whole-life sentence is that someone has committed crimes so heinous that a judge and jury has agreed that the person will always be a threat to society or that the punishment for the crime is to as severe as possible.

First, votes for prisoners, then Abu Qatada (who we finally got rid off after some £8million in costs) and now this.

Thoughts?[/FONT][/COLOR][/FONT][/COLOR]
Considering that their actions are directly responsible for the ultimate abridgement of another's human rights, what the court is saying in a nutshell is that only some human rights matter.

In any society, there is always a balance between the rights of one individual and those of another, and this court has decided that the rights of the murderer are more important than the rights of their victims.
 

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Considering that their actions are directly responsible for the ultimate abridgement of another's human rights, what the court is saying in a nutshell is that only some human rights matter.

In any society, there is always a balance between the rights of one individual and those of another, and this court has decided that the rights of the murderer are more important than the rights of their victims.
I couldn't agree more. Tellingly, the appeal judgment made absolutely NO reference over the 'rights' of their victims, meaning they view them as simply extinguishable by the murderer

Paul
 

PeteEU

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I'm in profound disagreement with the EUCHR on this and I don't care that the UK or someone from the UK drafted the original documents (that's to PeteEU). The whole point of a whole-life sentence is that someone has committed crimes so heinous that a judge and jury has agreed that the person will always be a threat to society or that the punishment for the crime is to as severe as possible.
Some points here.

The UK wrote the freaking treaty and has violated it... deal with it. Leave the treaty by all means, but then you are in the same boat as Belerus and other human rights violators.. Not the treaties fault that the UK politicians are a bunch of vindictive megalomaniacs that say one thing but does another and act like spoilt brats when they dont get their way.

Secondly this case was pretty clear the UK was in the wrong because it broke your own freaking law, which your own house of lords, court of appeals and your highest court have stated. The guidelines for for these sentences and your own legal systems rulings from your own High Court are very clear.. you can not sentence someone to life with no chance of any consideration of parole or release. The sentences have to be "minimum" and then after the minimum sentence has been carried out, then the inmate can take his case to the political masters and/or justice system.

Take the case of David Bieber, sentenced to life and the judge said he should never be released. That was appealed to your own High Court and they threw out the sentence and sentenced him to a minimum of 37 years before he could be considered for parole. Why no bitching about that case? Oh yea that was UK court, so that is alright..

Thirdly, no one is saying these men are going to be released. What they are saying that at some point they should be examined if they could be released. That does not mean they will be released. The whole point is that they can appeal for release for various reasons according to the guidelines and this was denied to them and that is a breach of human rights.

And the article seems to forget history.. typical media. The first two men were sentenced to life terms, not by a judge, but by the Home Secretary of the time. You see before 2000 (where 2 of the men were convicted) it was the politicians holding the Home Secretary post that set how long a person that got life should remain in prison. This practice had gone on for a long time, and was finally declared illegal for under 18s by the ECHR because of the James Bulgar case.

In 2002 a similar case was successful but for over 18s, so in 2003 you got a new sentencing system in the UK, where the judges set the length. Now like any good idiotic politician the law was flawed because it gave the the Judges full discretion on length but did not define the procedure clearly enough. They did add guidelines for life sentences.. but they are only guidelines right... and that is why we are in part here today.

Of the 3 men, two were sentenced before the new law, and sentenced by a politician...that alone should scream WTF for any person wanting to live in a law and order society and the 3rd man was sentenced after, but just before (we are talking about 4 months..) the UK Supreme Court ruled on a case in which the "die in jail" sentence was declared illegal.

And finally lets be very very clear here. These men in question will never see daylight again, since they will have minimum sentences to serve and then they will have to appeal for parole and that will most likely be denied.

Ironically it is no different than what Brevik in Norway is under, or most lifers in Scandinavia.

First, votes for prisoners,
Who cares. Only place that this would remotely matter would be in the US where there are such massive numbers behind bars or have been behind bars. Never understood why, just because you are convicted of a crime, that you suddenly loose your basic rights as citizens.. but /shrug.

then Abu Qatada (who we finally got rid off after some £8million in costs)
Your own ****ing fault and you know it. Not only did you let him into the country... bad move, but this was a UK government (both labour and tory) cluster**** from start to finish. It has been a binding principle of UK policy since WW2 not to extradite people to countries where they are threatened by death or torture, but suddenly you want to throw all that away because you dislike this idiots Islamic bull****? Come on.. the UK is better than that. And in the end, you got what you wanted, and Jordan on the face of it, joined the civilized world where we dont torture people for confessions. So what if it cost you 8 million.. that is what you waste on chavs and London bankers every second or so.
 

Infinite Chaos

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Some points here.

The UK wrote the freaking treaty
Treaties are not set in stone and shouldn't be. What worked 60 years ago is plainly not working now. Just because a treaty or document is produced does not mean it cannot be changed or modified as culture and society changes.

Who cares. Only place that this would remotely matter would be in the US where there are such massive numbers behind bars or have been behind bars. Never understood why, just because you are convicted of a crime, that you suddenly loose your basic rights as citizens.. but /shrug.
A criminal, by definition is someone who has stepped outside the normal boundaries of human behaviour and acceptable rights - especially of others. To think you somehow keep those rights after you've denied or taken someone else's away is ludicrous.

Your own ****ing fault and you know it. Not only did you let him into the country... bad move, but this was a UK government (both labour and tory) cluster**** from start to finish. It has been a binding principle of UK policy since WW2 not to extradite people to countries where they are threatened by death or torture, but suddenly you want to throw all that away because you dislike this idiots Islamic bull****? Come on.. the UK is better than that. And in the end, you got what you wanted, and Jordan on the face of it, joined the civilized world where we dont torture people for confessions. So what if it cost you 8 million.. that is what you waste on chavs and London bankers every second or so.
Jordan gave assurances many years ago about how Qatada would be treated but this was never enough for the lawyers who could milk the public purse to defend a terrorist. Yes in the end, we paid £8 million to be rid of him but it should never have come to that.
 

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I'm in profound disagreement with the EUCHR on this and I don't care that the UK or someone from the UK drafted the original documents (that's to PeteEU). The whole point of a whole-life sentence is that someone has committed crimes so heinous that a judge and jury has agreed that the person will always be a threat to society or that the punishment for the crime is to as severe as possible.

First, votes for prisoners, then Abu Qatada (who we finally got rid off after some £8million in costs) and now this.

Thoughts?[/FONT][/COLOR][/FONT][/COLOR]
Murderers deserve death penalty. Forget life in prison.
 

PeteEU

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Treaties are not set in stone and shouldn't be. What worked 60 years ago is plainly not working now. Just because a treaty or document is produced does not mean it cannot be changed or modified as culture and society changes.
No this is because you have some specific situations where you want to be able to break the basic human rights of people, because you really hate these people. That is what happened with the Norther Irish, and homosexuals in Northern Ireland.

And if you start giving exceptions to one or two people, then what is there to stop the UK system to arrest you and break your human rights?

Also considering your own High Court already ruled that life sentences must have a set date before they can apply for parole... kinda makes this a bit mute no?

And where is the outrage that for decades, the basic human rights of certain people (yes criminals) was broken, when it was a politician who set the length of jail time and not a judge?

A criminal, by definition is someone who has stepped outside the normal boundaries of human behaviour and acceptable rights - especially of others. To think you somehow keep those rights after you've denied or taken someone else's away is ludicrous.
Wait a minute... a criminal who did a crime, and is put in jail is denied the fundamental right of freedom. Is that not the ultimate punishment in a non death sentence country? What on earth does ones right to vote have to with his crime or his victim? What is next.. removing his citizenship despite him being born in the country?

No this is all about retribution pure and simple. It all comes down to how much retribution you want. And in this case, you have certain individuals who are for some reason, that no one can explain, been denied the rights to the possibility of talking about parole, while everyone else has that right. That is fundamentally the problem. No one is saying release these guys.. but the rules should be equal for everyone no? Every other prisoner in the UK, even those with very long sentences, have the right to appeal for parole or release for humanitarian grounds. These guys dont have that right, why is that? What makes them so special? And lets repeat it again ... it in no way means that these guys will ever be released.

Jordan gave assurances many years ago about how Qatada would be treated but this was never enough for the lawyers who could milk the public purse to defend a terrorist. Yes in the end, we paid £8 million to be rid of him but it should never have come to that.
Assurances with no backing in law. It is only recently that the laws were put in place to back up those assurances. Look at this way... France refuses to extradite people to the US when their crime could involve the death penalty. Why? Because no amount of assurances can make sure that the local prosecutor or politician in charge will change their mind. Denmark saw the brunt end of these so called assurances in a drug case a few years ago.. they mean jack **** unless backed up by law.

In Jordan's case they did not have the law backing up their assurances and considering their history, then that was not good enough. Now they have that law, and it is supposedly good enough now, and he was kicked out and returned to Jordan. Problem solved. And so what if you paid 8 million to get rid of him.. 8 million is a typical banker lunch.
 

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No this is because you have some specific situations where you want to be able to break the basic human rights of people, because you really hate these people. --
Just to address this as I don't have time - there is no piece of human social legislation or law that stands unchangeable and unmodifiable. The Human Rights legislation might (yet again) have been written by the British but that was over 50 years ago and society and demands have changed since then. We dropped the Death Penalty in the interim (nothing to do with EU law) and there are other examples of change in penal law however we felt that some crimes were so awful that there was no way back to society.

At least that's the honest approach - better than raising the hopes of someone like Anders Brievik that the reviews every 10-20 years might offer a chance of parole when in reality he won't be freed. I personally believe a criminal has to know there are penalties to crimes and more importantly society has to know that there are clear penalties to crimes. I know in reality even if we are forced to the EU guideline we still won't free the worst offenders- but we will pay lawyers, judges and parole personnel to sit through a charade every 15 years just to keep a facade going.

What's the point of that beyond wasting taxpayer's money?
 

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Just to address this as I don't have time - there is no piece of human social legislation or law that stands unchangeable and unmodifiable. The Human Rights legislation might (yet again) have been written by the British but that was over 50 years ago and society and demands have changed since then. We dropped the Death Penalty in the interim (nothing to do with EU law) and there are other examples of change in penal law however we felt that some crimes were so awful that there was no way back to society.
First off, this is not EU law per say. You make it sound like it is all the EUs fault, it aint. It is the ECHR treaty, which was written by the British and in that is included a ban on death penalty, which the UK at first did not sign up for, but did later. Also, the EU has no influence or input on the treaty or the rulings. All the EU has done is to make it a part of the EU, by saying.. want to be in the EU, then you sign up for the ECHR.

At least that's the honest approach - better than raising the hopes of someone like Anders Brievik that the reviews every 10-20 years might offer a chance of parole when in reality he won't be freed. I personally believe a criminal has to know there are penalties to crimes and more importantly society has to know that there are clear penalties to crimes.
Honest approach.. hogwash. It is about being equal in the eyes of the law. What you are doing in the UK, is discriminating against these few people, because the media has sensationalized the case and that in my view is a very dangerous thing. It is no different than the US putting "enemy combatant" tag on innocent Afghans and shipping them off to GITMO and letting them rot.

I know in reality even if we are forced to the EU guideline we still won't free the worst offenders- but we will pay lawyers, judges and parole personnel to sit through a charade every 15 years just to keep a facade going.

What's the point of that beyond wasting taxpayer's money?
Point is you are already doing it with the exception of a handful of people. I would agree if you had to put into place a whole new system to accomidate the ruling, but no you dont.. you have it, and adding a few more people into the system does not cost much.

One could also say.. why waste money on trials since people are most likely guilty.. just throw away the key right? In the scope of things, a few million pounds extra.. maybe, is nothing. You wasted far more fighting this ruling in the European courts, well knowing you would loose, since your own freaking Supreme Court already said it was illegal.
 

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I'm in profound disagreement with the EUCHR on this and I don't care that the UK or someone from the UK drafted the original documents (that's to PeteEU). The whole point of a whole-life sentence is that someone has committed crimes so heinous that a judge and jury has agreed that the person will always be a threat to society or that the punishment for the crime is to as severe as possible.

First, votes for prisoners, then Abu Qatada (who we finally got rid off after some £8million in costs) and now this.

Thoughts?[/FONT][/COLOR][/FONT][/COLOR]
Your post is a tad misleading when you don't post why the panel ruled what they ruled.

The Article said:
'No chance to atone'

The three men are among a group of 49 people in England and Wales who are serving whole-life tariffs.

This means they cannot be released other than at the discretion of the justice secretary on compassionate grounds - for example, if they are terminally ill or seriously incapacitated.

Cannot play media. You do not have the correct version of the flash player. Download the correct version

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling says the ruling makes the case for curtailing the powers of the European Court of Human Rights

Up until 2003, all terms could be reviewed, including whole-life tariffs after 25 years.

The men claimed that being denied any prospect of release was a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights - which protects people from inhuman or degrading treatment.

The court found that for a life sentence to remain compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights there had to be both a possibility of release and a possibility of review.

The judges said: "Moreover, if such a prisoner is incarcerated without any prospect of release and without the possibility of having his life sentence reviewed, there is the risk that he can never atone for his offence: whatever the prisoner does in prison, however exceptional his progress towards rehabilitation, his punishment remains fixed and unreviewable.

"If anything, the punishment becomes greater with time: the longer the prisoner lives, the longer his sentence."

The judges said the current UK law concerning the justice secretary's power to release a whole-life prisoner was "unclear".

They said: "Given this lack of clarity and the absence of a dedicated review mechanism for whole-life orders, the Court was not persuaded that, at the present time, the applicants' life sentences were compatible with Article 3."
The European Court did not rule against life sentences.

Rather, the European Court ruled against life sentences without the possibility of parole.

So those who are sentenced to a life sentence but become rehabilitated will be able to be paroled or have their sentence commuted.

And those prisoners who don't become rehabilitated stay in jail for the rest of their lives.
 

Rainman05

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It's not about life in prison, it's about life in prison without any chance to be free again.

And yes, that is against human rights. So is the capital punishment.

For murder and other heinous crimes, the top punishment should be 30 years(25,30, 35 years, around there). Of course, 30 years top/crime. So if you do 3 murders, 3x30= a maximum of 90 years in prison. Which is technically a life sentence but still. 1 murder, maximum 30 years.

But max sentences should be given only to people who are repeat offenders or show no sign of remorse for their crime.

Anyway, this is just in general.

On to the case in question.
The reason the EUCHR said that this is a violation of their human rights is because life in prison is considered an inhuman punishment. Much like solitary confinement is considered torture.
so the question is, do you consider life in prison to be inhumane? if so, they you must agree with the EUCHR. If not, then you don't. I consider life in prison to be inhumane.

HOWEVER, these 3 murderers are there for REPEATED crimes.

Bamber was jailed for the five murders in Essex in 1985.
5*30 = 150 years in prison maximum. Even half of that means that this particular criminal should remain in prison for the remainder of his life. Whether he should be sentenced to "life in prison" as opposed to 75 years in prison WITH the possibility of parole... well, I think the latter.

Moore killed four gay men for his sexual gratification in north Wales in 1995.
Again. 4*30=120 max... even half of that would be 60 years in jail. Basically a life sentence. But it should be 60 years in jail with the possibility of parole, instead of life in prison.

In 2008, Vinter, from Middlesbrough, admitted killing his wife Anne White.
This was after killing another person before, being released in 2008. Repeat offender... 30 years in prison for him would be a correct punishment. Not life in prison.
 

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It's not about life in prison, it's about life in prison without any chance to be free again.

And yes, that is against human rights. So is the capital punishment.

For murder and other heinous crimes, the top punishment should be 30 years(25,30, 35 years, around there). Of course, 30 years top/crime. So if you do 3 murders, 3x30= a maximum of 90 years in prison. Which is technically a life sentence but still. 1 murder, maximum 30 years.

But max sentences should be given only to people who are repeat offenders or show no sign of remorse for their crime.

Anyway, this is just in general.

On to the case in question.
The reason the EUCHR said that this is a violation of their human rights is because life in prison is considered an inhuman punishment. Much like solitary confinement is considered torture.
so the question is, do you consider life in prison to be inhumane? if so, they you must agree with the EUCHR. If not, then you don't. I consider life in prison to be inhumane.

HOWEVER, these 3 murderers are there for REPEATED crimes.



5*30 = 150 years in prison maximum. Even half of that means that this particular criminal should remain in prison for the remainder of his life. Whether he should be sentenced to "life in prison" as opposed to 75 years in prison WITH the possibility of parole... well, I think the latter.


Again. 4*30=120 max... even half of that would be 60 years in jail. Basically a life sentence. But it should be 60 years in jail with the possibility of parole, instead of life in prison.


This was after killing another person before, being released in 2008. Repeat offender... 30 years in prison for him would be a correct punishment. Not life in prison.
You forget that the first 2 were not given their sentence by the legal system... but by the Home Secretary. In the last case, the Judge in question made the mistake of saying he should never be released and this was 4 months later found to be illegal in another case.. by the UK Supreme Court. In all 3 cases UK law and European law was broken, which only compounds the embarrassment of the UK, which is why they are acting like this. I have no doubt that the miss-information in this case spread by the UK government and its backers, will be used in the anti-EU campaign shortly to be kicked off, and that is despite the ECHR not being part of the EU per say... and actually pre-dating the formation of the EEC/EU.
 

Spriggs05

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Murderers deserve death penalty. Forget life in prison.
Got rid of capital punishment in 1965 (and 1973 in Northern Ireland) with the murder act of 1965.
However there was some exceptions:

1.causing a fire or explosion in a naval dockyard, ship, magazine or warehouse (until 1971);
2.espionage[12] (until 1981);
3.piracy with violence (until 1998);
4.treason (until 1998);
5.certain purely military offences under the jurisdiction of the armed forces, such as mutiny[13] (until 1998). Prior to its complete abolition in 1998, it was available for six offences:
1.serious misconduct in action;
2.assisting the enemy;
3.obstructing operations;
4.giving false air signals;
5.mutiny or incitement to mutiny; and
6.failure to suppress a mutiny with intent to assist the enemy.
Capital punishment in the United Kingdom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

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The ruling merely states that prisoners on whole life tariffs must have their sentences reviewed after 25 years, this does not mean they will ever be released. It's a fairly daft ruling and ECHR have over stepped the mark, using legislation related to torture as the basis of the ruling.

In terms of the ECHR, it's becoming increasingly unpopular in the UK and is doing itself no favours with rulings like this, and the future of Britain's continued membership of the ECHR is now becoming far from clear. Perhaps a national referendum similar to the proposed one in relation to the EU itself may be an idea.

In terms of whole life tariff prisoners there are only around 50 in the UK and most are serial killers including many child killers, and there chances of ever being released are zero, no matter what the ECHR rules.

List of prisoners with whole-life tariffs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

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I know it's not possible in Europe, but in many places in the US we have an alternate to Life Without Parole..... EXECUTION.

The whole idea that you would even consider allowing a murderer or other seriously violent criminal an opportunity to convince people that they should be allowed to walk among the population again is utter lunacy so far as I'm concerned. Then again, I do not claim to understand how the people or governments of Europe operate these days.
 

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I know it's not possible in Europe, but in many places in the US we have an alternate to Life Without Parole..... EXECUTION.

The whole idea that you would even consider allowing a murderer or other seriously violent criminal an opportunity to convince people that they should be allowed to walk among the population again is utter lunacy so far as I'm concerned. Then again, I do not claim to understand how the people or governments of Europe operate these days.
These individuals are not going to be released, and the only thing this ruling has thrown in to doubt is Britain's continued membership of the ECHR itself.
 

Tigger

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These individuals are not going to be released, and the only thing this ruling has thrown in to doubt is Britain's continued membership of the ECHR itself.
Then I would ask... Why would Britian sign such a document in the first place? The whole idea is quite daft so far as I'm concerned, and leaves the citizens of any signitor state at considerable risk, at least in my mind. It makes people less safe so far as I can see. I just don't see why anyone would sign this thing in the first place.
 

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Then I would ask... Why would Britian sign such a document in the first place? The whole idea is quite daft so far as I'm concerned, and leaves the citizens of any signitor state at considerable risk, at least in my mind. It makes people less safe so far as I can see. I just don't see why anyone would sign this thing in the first place.
The same reasons we have any laws. In it's general principals, EU human rights law didn't introduce anything that existing UK law didn't already have (and certainly nothing that UK law wouldn't have were we to leave the convention). These issues are about specific interpretations, which happens with domestic law too and half the time isn't the European judges disagreeing with UK government but British ones (UK government is more than happy to appeal to the ECHR if they think they can win).

The point of these laws being Europe wide was to force those countries which didn't have our level of human rights (notably Eastern Europe) and, as with European law in general, try to ensure some consistency for people travelling or working across Europe. Nothing is perfect and there are always some unintended consequences but the idea that these are as common or as significant as to suggest we need to scrap the whole thing is entirely politically motivated rather than on the basis of any principals of rights or justice.

The Conservative party believe they can win more votes on a anti-Europe/anti-foreign ticket (with some justification sadly) and this is just one of the tools they're using to achieve that. If they thought giving people of life sentences the chance for parole would win them more votes, they'd be all for it (not that any of the other parties are any more honest).
 

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I'm in profound disagreement with the EUCHR on this and I don't care that the UK or someone from the UK drafted the original documents (that's to PeteEU). The whole point of a whole-life sentence is that someone has committed crimes so heinous that a judge and jury has agreed that the person will always be a threat to society or that the punishment for the crime is to as severe as possible.

First, votes for prisoners, then Abu Qatada (who we finally got rid off after some £8million in costs) and now this.

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I completely agree with you.

I think we certainly ought to be careful about how we hand out life sentences, and I don't know enough about the killers listed to tell whether they would meet my personal muster for revoking it (my guess, based on knowing the EU, is no).

But there are absolutely people who need to be locked away for life, because they will ALWAYS be dangerous. Even the most liberal European nations, which have no standard life sentencing at all, have procedures for locking away the worst of humanity forever.

A life sentence doesn't violate the "human rights" of a joy killer or a pedophile or a sociopathic rapist unless you believe their "human rights" include the right to hurt others with impunity. What about everyone else's rights?
 

HonestJoe

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I think we certainly ought to be careful about how we hand out life sentences, and I don't know enough about the killers listed to tell whether they would meet my personal muster for revoking it (my guess, based on knowing the EU, is no).
The ECHR didn't make any judgement on the individual cases, they made a judgement of the general legal principle. You've acknowledged that it is possible, however unlikely, that in your opinion these individuals could be released yet you're supporting a judgement that denies that possibility outright.

A life sentence doesn't violate the "human rights" of a joy killer or a pedophile or a sociopathic rapist unless you believe their "human rights" include the right to hurt others with impunity. What about everyone else's rights?
Well given the ruling doesn't say anything of the sort, this is a rather pointless statement. Do you actually understand what the ruling was?
 

SmokeAndMirrors

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The ECHR didn't make any judgement on the individual cases, they made a judgement of the general legal principle. You've acknowledged that it is possible, however unlikely, that in your opinion these individuals could be released yet you're supporting a judgement that denies that possibility outright.
I don't necessarily support any given implementation of life sentencing, so no, I am not supporting the judgment per se.

I am against the concept that a life sentence violates human rights in and of itself.

Well given the ruling doesn't say anything of the sort, this is a rather pointless statement. Do you actually understand what the ruling was?
Yes, I did. And if you'd read the thread, you'd know we're not discussing the specifics of the cases of the article; rather the concept.
 

Tigger

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The same reasons we have any laws. In it's general principals, EU human rights law didn't introduce anything that existing UK law didn't already have (and certainly nothing that UK law wouldn't have were we to leave the convention). These issues are about specific interpretations, which happens with domestic law too and half the time isn't the European judges disagreeing with UK government but British ones (UK government is more than happy to appeal to the ECHR if they think they can win).

The point of these laws being Europe wide was to force those countries which didn't have our level of human rights (notably Eastern Europe) and, as with European law in general, try to ensure some consistency for people travelling or working across Europe. Nothing is perfect and there are always some unintended consequences but the idea that these are as common or as significant as to suggest we need to scrap the whole thing is entirely politically motivated rather than on the basis of any principals of rights or justice.
Joe, thank you for the information. It sounds to me like an issue we're starting to have here in the USA - Courts looking to foreign/international regulations as much as if not more than domestic law. Just one more reason why I'd prefer isolationism.
 

HonestJoe

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I am against the concept that a life sentence violates human rights in and of itself.
Nobody is saying that though.

First, and this is pedantry but necessary pedantry in context. We're discussing whole-life sentences or life imprisonment not "just" life sentences. The ECHR has made no ruling on life sentences at all. It made a ruling specifically regarding whole-life sentences under UK law. That ruling was that whole-life sentence are perfectly legitimate but that there should be some form of review, recommending that it is within 25 years of imprisonment.

That's it. We can still sentence people to life imprisonment, we just need to establish a process of review at 25 year periods. For such criminals, it would obviously be a high bar to get over to be even considered for release but as long as the possibility is there, we would be perfectly within the law.
 

Infinite Chaos

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Your post is a tad misleading when you don't post why the panel ruled what they ruled.
I know why they panel ruled the way it did but that doesn't negate the argument for whole life sentences, no matter how rehabilitated a criminal may be. Putting in the possibility of parole for even the most heinous of crimes actually does away with the whole life tariff effectively even if the EUHCR says that's not what they are doing.
 
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