Germans to release Baader-Meinhof leader with five life sentences

posted at 12:15 pm on November 24, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

The German government claim that they can’t find a good reason to keep Christian Klar behind bars, so they plan to parole him.  Klar led the Red Army Faction, otherwise known as the Baader-Meinhof terrorist group, a radical Marxist militant gang that killed at least 30 people during its period of terror.  Klar follows his comrade-in-arms Brigitte Mohnhaupt, who also got paroled 21 months ago:

A German court has approved the release from jail of a leader of a radical leftist group involved in high-profile killings in the 1970s and 1980s.

Red Army Faction leader Christian Klar, aged 56, is serving five life terms but will have served the minimum required 26 years by January.

The court in Stuttgart said there were no grounds to keep him in custody.

No grounds, eh?  How about the fact that Klar has served less than a year in prison for every person his group murdered?  In 1982, Klar was found personally guilty for nine murders and 11 attempted murders.  That gives him less than three years each for just the murders, with the attempts ignored altogether.

When people say they mistrust a law-enforcement approach to terrorism, this is exactly what they mean.  Terrorists of any political stripe represent more than just murderers.  They attack the foundations of democracy itself by attempting to impose policy on the vast majority of citizens who reject it.  They use murder as an end to political means, which attempts to both kill human life and the democratic community as a whole.

I’d normally say that this makes them more dangerous than ordinary murderers, but Klar actually qualifies as something more than that as well.  His nine murders make him a serial killer, and the multiple homicides make Baader-Meinhof a mass-murdering group as well.  Would Germany release a known serial killer on parole?  Just on that basis, how can they justify releasing Klar?

Oh, but don’t worry, Germans.  The court has imposed five years of parole as a condition of his release.  I’m sure the families of his 30+ victims will feel so much better.


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The German government claim that they can’t find a good reason to keep Christian Klar behind bars,

Really? I can think of a couple of good reasons to keep his sorry a$$ in prison for the rest of his worthless life: (1) punishment, and (2) deterrence.

AZCoyote on November 24, 2008 at 3:26 PM

So you’re saying if I line up

1,000,000 people in America,
0,000,043 of them will be murdered at some point.

Yes, truly America is a backwards, violent nation that no reasonable person would want to go to, and we could learn from our European betters.

BKennedy on November 24, 2008 at 3:14 PM

No. That’s not what I’m saying. What the 43/million murder rate means is that if you randomly pick a million Americans, then on average 43 of them will be killed this year, and another 43 next year and so on.

Notice that I didn’t say anything about the Europeans being better in any way. I wouldn’t even say Europe in general is less violent than the US. For example Albania, Bulgaria and parts of Italy are much worse than the US average.

Generally there is no need for you to tell me what I am saying. When I want to say something I will say it myself. Thank you for the effort though.

I do want to point out that even though the German penal system is a lot less harsh than ours, they have significantly less crime. So when their judges say that 26 years in prison is enough for mass murder, I’m willing to give those judges the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they are not totally stupid. What if their rules actually make sense?

factoid on November 24, 2008 at 3:53 PM

Well, he better stay away from Passau because I’ll throw him into the Danube.

Glenn Jericho on November 24, 2008 at 4:17 PM

These pieces of human scum were very active during my time in West Germany. It’s a shame they were ever considered punished “enough.” In a just world, they’d have a choice of 3 doors to exit the prison. 2 of them would be rigged to explode. (that’s what I’d tell them, but they’d all be set)

TugboatPhil on November 24, 2008 at 4:22 PM

Seems to me that the German gov. does not place as much value on the life of one of their citizens as we do. Twenty six years is pretty light for a mass murderer.
Also,I haven’t seen anything about whether or not he has repented his crimes.

jellybelly on November 24, 2008 at 4:26 PM

…is serving five life terms…
The court in Stuttgart said there were no grounds to keep him in custody.

Proverbs 29:2 “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: But when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”

JellyToast on November 24, 2008 at 4:38 PM

It’s annoying to read people excusing such light sentences by some European countries on the grounds that they have a much lower crime rate than the tougher USA so they must have the right attitude toward punishment. The reason for their relatively lower crime rate is they have so many fewer Blacks. Face it, it’s just a researchable fact
– try for e.g. http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/homicide/race.htm , http://www.colorofcrime.com/colorofcrime2005.pdf , or just web search –

that the crime rate of blacks (esp. violent crime) is hugely disproportionally higher ( in all or nearly all countries) . Give Germany the same proportion of blacks and then report. I think you’ll find the Caucasian and East Asian crime rate is relatively low everywhere.
.

This truncated prison sentence for this killer rat Klar sends the message that if you murder one or two you may as well slaughter as many as you can for the less than life sentence you’ll get if convicted is about the same in any case. This is just stupid – you’d think the German’s never heard of punishment for deterrence.

Chessplayer on November 24, 2008 at 5:20 PM

I do want to point out that even though the German penal system is a lot less harsh than ours, they have significantly less crime. So when their judges say that 26 years in prison is enough for mass murder, I’m willing to give those judges the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they are not totally stupid. What if their rules actually make sense?

factoid on November 24, 2008 at 3:53 PM,

Klar is a terrorist who kills people for fun, profit, and politics. He is just a German William Ayers, and both of them should have been executed for treason long ago.

The just punishment for murder is death. The just punishment for treason is death. Ayers and Klar committed both. Neither of these laws “make sense” because they are inherently unjust.

The weak, feeble, flabby European countries have replaced mercy with justice, forgetting that mercy only exists in relation to justice. It has been spreading here as well.

And I know what the rate is. The point is “we have 4 times the murder rate of Germany” is fairly pointless when we’re talking ten thousandths of a percent. It’s like the pro-choice whining that birth is 3 times more dangerous than an abortion, despite infant mortality from birth being virtually zero this days.

BKennedy on November 24, 2008 at 6:13 PM

When five life sentences can’t keep a mass murderer in prison, that makes a pretty good argument for the death penalty.

Tantor on November 24, 2008 at 6:33 PM

The weak, feeble, flabby European countries have replaced mercy with justice, forgetting that mercy only exists in relation to justice. It has been spreading here as well.

I think you’re confusing cause and effect here. The reason why in Britain for instance there are no police patrolling the streets, super-light sentences and the brief consideration of letting the serial killer Myra Hindley out of jail is not because the ex-Trotskyists in government are weak or spineless but rather because presiding over a semi-lawless state suits their political purposes. It is much the same all over the EU. Of course they can always find the time and resources to arrest anyone who objects to the power of the state.

aengus on November 24, 2008 at 6:43 PM

i’m all for splitting them in two again

stormin1961 on November 24, 2008 at 6:43 PM

German police fucked up. Should have just killed ‘em when they had the chance.

GarandFan on November 24, 2008 at 7:35 PM

No grounds for keeping him in prison? There’s plenty of grounds around in which to bury him, which maybe some of the families of his victims are preparing right now.

wepeople on November 24, 2008 at 7:58 PM

The last face nine people saw gets to see daylight again.

Last thing before death is a mullet? [shivvvvvver]

Tzetzes on November 24, 2008 at 8:11 PM

dpierson on November 24, 2008 at 1:26 PM

I hear ya. My dad was CID and spent some time chasing these folks. I don’t know if he specifically chased Klar, but I do know he did chase the Bader-Meinhof gang.

Anachronda on November 24, 2008 at 8:22 PM

They attack the foundations of democracy itself by attempting to impose policy on the vast majority of citizens who reject it.

Doesn’t sound AT ALL like what’s going on against Prop 8 in California…….

/sarcasm

Hawkins1701 on November 24, 2008 at 8:35 PM

The German government claim that they can’t find a good reason to keep Christian Klar behind bars,

Really? I can think of a couple of good reasons to keep his sorry a$$ in prison for the rest of his worthless life: (1) punishment, and (2) deterrence.

AZCoyote on November 24, 2008 at 3:26 PM

I really don’t think that deterrence comes into play with guys like this. Same for most Capital punishment candidates. But punishment should be reason enough.

holygoat on November 24, 2008 at 9:45 PM

I just read about it in the Zeit, a serious German newspaper. Klar hasn’t shown remorse or regret for his acts. The reasons they still let him out are:
1. these are the rules (life sentences are never applied in Europe). They don’t want to make an exception for him (and make him a martyr for the far left),
2. 2 expert studies and the prison where he’s held say that he’s not dangerous anymore.

As a European, I must say I agree with the importance of the rule of the law. What I don’t get is why ‘life sentences’, which replaced ‘death penalty’, have become 26 years sentences. This is where the law got broken in the first place.
Not dangerous? He might not kill anybody anymore. But if he shows no remorse, I wonder if he won’t become active again in the leftist movement and inspire the next generation. An ex-terrorist who turns to teaching isn’t very far fetched… And only a government organization which doesn’t discriminate would be likely to hire such a guy…

FrenchguyinTaiwan on November 24, 2008 at 9:48 PM

How much you want to bet he gets himself a job in the education field.

jellybelly on November 25, 2008 at 12:12 AM

Hey sistah, didz ya see, dem crazy Germans lets another one of dem prisoners go.

I knowz, now if i coulds only gets mah new president to lets mah brutha outs of prison, I would beez a happy gurl! He only killed 5 peeps, and it was all in self defense.

I knowz, sistah! I only hopz dem whiteys don’t cap him befo we gets out redistubification money, you knowz!

Word, my brotha!

Overheard at at another blog

theRealMcCoy on November 25, 2008 at 9:11 AM

Not dangerous? He might not kill anybody anymore. But if he shows no remorse, I wonder if he won’t become active again in the leftist movement and inspire the next generation. An ex-terrorist who turns to teaching isn’t very far fetched…

Bill Ayers comes to mind.

hillbillyjim on November 25, 2008 at 9:12 AM

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