EU court: Life without parole is “inhuman and degrading”

posted at 10:01 am on July 9, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Here in the US, we have debates over the appropriateness and application of the death penalty, so we haven’t yet started any debate over its usual replacement, life without possibility of parole.  Europe has mainly eliminated the death penalty, which should have left them free to focus on other legal and law-enforcement issues. Instead, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the UK violated the EU charter’s Article 3 by imposing life without parole — called “whole life” in the EU in three cases:

Whole-life jail sentences without any prospect of release amount to inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners, the European court of human rights has ruled.

The landmark judgment will set the ECHR on a fresh collision course with the UK government but does not mean that any of the applicants – the convicted murderers Jeremy Bamber, Peter Moore and Douglas Vinter – are likely to be released soon.

In its decision, the Strasbourg court said there had been a violation of article 3 of the European convention on human rights, which prohibits inhuman and degrading treatment.

The judgment said: “For a life sentence to remain compatible with article 3 there had to be both a possibility of release and a possibility of review.”

The court emphasised, however, that “the finding of a violation in the applicants’ cases should not be understood as giving them any prospect of imminent release. Whether or not they should be released would depend, for example, on whether there were still legitimate penological grounds for their continued detention and whether they should continue to be detained on grounds of dangerousness. These questions were not in issue.”

Life without parole developed — at least in the US — as a means to give the state an option to the death penalty.  Rather than have the state kill dangerous murderers and violent convicts, juries instead could ensure that these defendants would never be released into society again, save for a pardon or commutation from a governor, who would be politically liable for such actions.  That ended the perceived turnstiles at the gates of prisons where violent felons got released into society by overly sympathetic parole boards and, in some cases, state-sanctioned killings through the death penalty.

Is life without parole a rational outcome? Take a look at the cases at hand in this ECHR ruling, which is legally enforceable in the UK:

The appeal was brought by Vinter, who murdered a colleague in 1996 and after being released stabbed his wife in 2008; Bamber, now 51, who killed his parents, his sister Sheila Cafell and her two young children in 1985; and Moore, who killed four gay men for his sexual gratification in 1995.

One is a family annihilator, and another a serial killer who targeted gays.  The third got a release after his first murder just to murder again.  Amazingly, the EU appellate court ruled by a 16-1 decision that Vinter’s human rights had been violated and awarded him €40,000 for it.   Had the decision rested on the individual merits of the prosecution — Bamber insists he’s innocent of the crime, for instance — then demanding judicial review for parole might have made some sense.  Instead, the ECHR has broadly eliminated “whole life” altogether.

My colleague Jeb Golonkin at The Week is mystified by the reasoning:

It’s difficult to figure out what bodies of law or precedent this purportedly legal body looked to to discern the meaning of “inhumane and degrading.” It certainly is not history, nor is it the European convention on human rights, because, well, it’s been around a bit and the court is only now coming round to making this rather remarkable declaration. Even applying the modern “evolving standards of decency” test, which the Supreme Court of the United States uses to measure the propriety of a punishment, one has to wonder whether there is a society on Earth where more than a small minority of people believes that no crime exists that is so reprehensible that the perpetrator at least ought to go to jail knowing that he has no hope of ever being a free man again.

If you want to know why many Americans are fundamentally suspicious of international law and the tribunals that purport to enforce it, this decision offers a good example. There are legitimate arguments to be made about imposing life sentences on minors (see Frontline‘s “When Kids Get Life” for a fantastic look at the problems), but the idea that a convicted murderer must always have the opportunity to win his freedom no matter the circumstances is a startling proposition.

Indeed. And this could give new impetus to death-penalty proponents who might worry that American courts might be tempted to make the same ruling based on the Eighth Amendment proscription on cruel and unusual punishment.


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The proper response – “Okay; we’ll give them the possibility of parole at age 200.”

Steve Eggleston on July 9, 2013 at 10:03 AM

#headdesk

Chris of Rights on July 9, 2013 at 10:03 AM

This is why people support the death penalty, they know that judges will eventually say incredibly stupid things like this and implement it.

thebrokenrattle on July 9, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Tell that to their victims.

ramblingirl on July 9, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Putting anyone in a cage and denying them freedom is inhuman and degrading. How can we condemn the Cleveland kidnapper when society locks up millions of people against their will?

That would get a lot of applause with a lib audience.

Buddahpundit on July 9, 2013 at 10:06 AM

23/1, nothing cruel about it. 3 squares, housing and medical. Better than they deserves many times.

Bmore on July 9, 2013 at 10:07 AM

deserve

Bmore on July 9, 2013 at 10:07 AM

The judgment said: “For a life sentence to remain compatible with article 3 there had to be both a possibility of release and a possibility of review.”

Easy to accommodate. We’ll consider releasing the criminal when Hell freezes over. As to the possibility of review, we should institute a decennial review to determine whether the criminal’s victim’s remain dead.

morganfrost on July 9, 2013 at 10:08 AM

This is part of the appeal of the death penalty. No pinheaded liberal judges can reverse the sentence once imposed.

The recidivism rate of executed criminals remains at zero and is expected to continue to do so. :-)

SoRight on July 9, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Europe Fail

Again.

workingclass artist on July 9, 2013 at 10:09 AM

You know what’s ‘degrading’-giving criminals more rights than their victims.

annoyinglittletwerp on July 9, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Canada has had a so-called “faint hope” clause for years.

When Parliament abolished capital punishment and introduced mandatory life sentences for murder, it was felt that if rehabilitation was to be successful, persons sentenced to life imprisonment needed some hope of being released during their lifetime. As a result, section 745.6 of the Criminal Code, the so-called faint-hope clause, was introduced. It makes it possible for convicted murderers to apply for a reduction in the number of years they must serve in prison before being able to apply for parole. This application can be made after they have served 15 years of their sentence. All applications are screened so that only those having a reasonable prospect of success will actually receive a hearing. Further, persons who have committed more than one murder after January 1997 are ineligible for a section 745.6 hearing — they do not have any right to apply for a hearing to reduce the time they must serve before applying for parole.

http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/cj-jp/victim/guide/secm.html

Denis Lortie, for example, shot up the Quebec National Assembly (Quebec’s provincial parliament) in 1984 and killed three.

He was paroled in 1995.

Drained Brain on July 9, 2013 at 10:12 AM

From the continent that brought you Adolf Hitler and Jack the Ripper…

blammm on July 9, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Euroweenies.

22044 on July 9, 2013 at 10:14 AM

You know what else is inhuman and degrading? Being murdered.

J.S.K. on July 9, 2013 at 10:14 AM

The penalty for first degree murder in PA is death or life without parole. The lesser homicide charges do contain a possibility of parole.

Life means life. One way or the other.

Wethal on July 9, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Eighth Amendment proscription on cruel and unusual punishment.

Putting somebody in prison is a violation of the 8th. I’m not even sure if you could arrest and hold somebody without violation of the 8th. Sure you can try them but, you have to let them go and expect them to show up in court. I’m not sure about any punishment because even a stern talking to could be against the 8th. People have to get it through their heads that a criminal is just going about his/her chosen job and shouldn’t be singled out for invasion of privacy by police.

Dr. Frank Enstine on July 9, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Indeed. And this could give new impetus to death-penalty proponents who might worry that American courts might be tempted to make the same ruling based on the Eighth Amendment proscription on cruel and unusual punishment.

It has already happened here. In Michigan anyone convicted of 1st degree murder goes away for life with no possibility of parole. A recent federal court ruling said that juveniles with such sentences must be considered for parole at some point. That’s the first step in judicially dismantling these kinds of laws in the US.

NotCoach on July 9, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Response: hard labor for life or summary execution.

BuckeyeSam on July 9, 2013 at 10:16 AM

“Life without Parole”

If Obama can get his ObamaCare up and running without delays…

Electrongod on July 9, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Dr. Frank Enstine on July 9, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Did you lose a </sarcasm> tag?

Steve Eggleston on July 9, 2013 at 10:18 AM

If the US prisoners end up with the Affordable Care Act, the death penalty may be in play more than we ever imagined. But I suppose the SCOTUS will rule that the ACA applied to prisoners is cruel and unusual punishment and will require the taxpayers to provide private insurance to the murderers, rapists and robbers. This world is really turning upside down and inside out. I don’t even recognize it anymore!!

Deano1952 on July 9, 2013 at 10:18 AM

The recidivism rate of executed criminals remains at zero and is expected to continue to do so. :-)

SoRight on July 9, 2013 at 10:08 AM

But execution is absolute. It would be far more civilized of us to allow a million crazed, lunatic killers loose the murder millions of innocent men, woman and children then to execute a single innocent person.

Dr. Frank Enstine on July 9, 2013 at 10:20 AM

If the US prisoners end up with the Affordable Care Act, the death penalty may be in play more than we ever imagined. But I suppose the SCOTUS will rule that the ACA applied to prisoners is cruel and unusual punishment and will require the taxpayers to provide private insurance to the murderers, rapists and robbers. This world is really turning upside down and inside out. I don’t even recognize it anymore!!

Deano1952 on July 9, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Too late – the Lawgivers-In-Black have already given prisoners the right to elective surgeries at the expense of the taxpayers.

Steve Eggleston on July 9, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Sometimes (very often really) I sit down and read these stories, and I just can’t believe there are people that have such a twisted view of reality. I think they are called liberals.

kirkill on July 9, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Denis Lortie, for example, shot up the Quebec National Assembly (Quebec’s provincial parliament) in 1984 and killed three.

He was paroled in 1995.

Drained Brain on July 9, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Let me guess, he now teaches social justice in academia or something.

Happy Nomad on July 9, 2013 at 10:23 AM

If you execute a murderer, the chances of him killing again are 0

If you give him a “life sentence” eventually some leftist might let him loose again.

All this being said, if I was in the UK, I would pass a bill that on release all murderers are given a one way ticket to Brussels.

18-1 on July 9, 2013 at 10:23 AM

So I’m supposed to worry that the Psycho who ran over, then stabbed and beheaded that soldier in England might have his feelings hurt without the hope of parole?

trubble on July 9, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Actually, progressives here in the U.S. have been campaigning against life without parole for decades, notably in states where they have already succeeded in getting capital punishment abolished. And the “cruel and unusual punishment” argument is their favorite one.

Simply put, progressives, here or anywhere, believe that absolutely nothing should be allowed to impede the actions of someone they define as a “rebel against society”. Since everything is society’s fault (for [a] not following their orders and [b] existing in the first place), then by their logic anyone who demonstrates the will to flaunt society’s mores is to be lauded as a hero.

If Jack the Ripper were around today, he’d be on T-shirts like Che` Guevara. And if he were caught, there would be demands for his release on the spot, like Mumia Abu-Jemal.

The truth is that the typical progressive “thought leader” loathes humanity so greatly, that anyone or anything that can be used as a weapon against same is in their minds to be cherished and nurtured. And turned loose on the human race at every opportunity.

Don’t believe it? Ask one his or her opinion of Guantanamo Bay, the Maze Prison, or SuperMax.

clear ether

eon

eon on July 9, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Awesome decision and wholly predictable in the never ending progressive march to utopia.

rickyricardo on July 9, 2013 at 10:25 AM

If liberals claimed that pouring water on someone’s face for 20 minutes was inhuman, then a lifetime of incarceration is also surely inhuman. Seriously, incarceration for life is much worse.

Waterboarding – inhuman and evil

Death by Drone Missile – perfectly ok – collect your Nobel Peace Prize

18-1 on July 9, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Well, I know Norway is not part of the EU, but they might as well be. Look what they gave Andre Breivik, the mass murderer, for punishment: MAXIMUM of 20, repeat, 2…0 years!

Shameful!

NavyMustang on July 9, 2013 at 10:29 AM

This is why people support the death penalty, they know that judges will eventually say incredibly stupid things like this and implement it.

thebrokenrattle on July 9, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Yep. I am no longer confident when I hear sentences of life without parole, especially for “high profile” crimes. In ten or fifteen years some leftist judge is liable to release them.

Doomberg on July 9, 2013 at 10:31 AM

I’m all for it, as long as those who decide that these murderers deserve better treatment than they gave their victims have to share their residences with them on their release.

I suspect if that was part of the deal these “elites” who think that they know so much better than the rest of us serfs would suddenly find life without parole to be a very humane punishment indeed.

LibraryGryffon on July 9, 2013 at 10:34 AM

First: get rid of that damn auto-refresh!

I would support this decision, if, and only if, the newly released murderers were required to live in the same residence with those who ordered their release.

I suspect that if that were the case, these “elites” who think they are so much wiser and kinder than us peons would suddenly find that life without parole is very humane indeed.

LibraryGryffon on July 9, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Sorry for the double post, it disappeared, and I thought it was lost in the refresh. Admins, please feel free to remove one of the posts.

LibraryGryffon on July 9, 2013 at 10:37 AM

The EU Court never met Charles Manson…

Khun Joe on July 9, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Another example of the EU imposing its ‘morality’ on once-sovereign people.

BUT, don’t make the mistake of assuming that the EU, itself, lives up to its own standards and moral demands.

A perfect example of this is the death penalty. The death penalty, while actually not condemned by majorities in many EU member states, has been illegal in most countries in the EU for many years. (Latvia abolished it last year)

From the EU’s website:

The European Union holds a strong and principled position against the death penalty; its abolition is a key objective for the Union’s human rights policy. Abolition is, of course, also a pre-condition for entry into the Union.

Indeed, the EU is the leading institutional actor and largest donor to the fight against the death penalty. This commitment is outlined clearly in the EU Guidelines on the death penalty, the first ever human rights guidelines adopted by Council, in 1998.

Furthermore, Article II, Clause II of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union explicitly states:

‘No one shall be condemned to the death penalty, or executed.’

Now, after reading that, one could easily infer that the EU strongly opposes the use of the death penalty by any country, transnational organisation, and for any reason.

One would also be wrong to make that inference.

You see, in the Soviet-like EU with its 27 unelected, unaccountable apparatchiks, the death penalty was reintroduced in a footnote to the Treaty of Lisboa, upon neither the whole nor part of which the overwhelming majority of Europeans were allowed to vote. In its ‘explanations’ and ‘negative definitions’ accompanying the fundamental rights, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union allows a reintroduction of the death penalty in case of war or imminent war, but also the killing of humans to suppress insurgency or riot.

The footnoted ‘small print’:

3. The provisions of Article 2 of the Charter correspond to those of the above Articles of the ECHR and its Protocol. They have the same meaning and the same scope, in accordance with Article 52(3) of the Charter. Therefore, the ‘negative’ definitions appearing in the ECHR must be regarded as also forming part of the Charter:

(a) Article 2(2) of the ECHR:

Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention of this article when it results from the use of force which is no more than absolutely necessary:

(a) in defence of any person from unlawful violence;

(b) in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained;

(c) in action lawfully taken for the purpose of quelling a riot or insurrection.

(b) Article 2 of Protocol No 6 to the ECHR:

A State may make provision in its law for the death penalty in respect of acts committed in time of war or of imminent threat of war; such penalty shall be applied only in the instances laid down in the law and in accordance with its provisions…

In other words, the murderers of children or serial killers of homosexuals cannot be executed. Hell, not even Anders Behring-Breivik, who murdered 77 people, was eligible for the death penalty…or life in prison. He was sentenced to 21 years at a posh prison. HOWEVER, if you are deemed an ‘enemy of the state’ by the EU, you can be sentenced to death.

If the people of Cyprus had rioted and/or staged an insurrection, they could have been sentenced to death by the EU.

Like most Progressives, the mantle of moral supremacy donned by EUrophiles is neither as moral nor as supreme as they claim.

Resist We Much on July 9, 2013 at 10:42 AM

How long before any type of prison environoment is a violation of human rights? It appears the EU can rewrite any statute of any member state merely by claiming it violates some human right which it just made up.

tommyboy on July 9, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Well, the court is not wrong. Locking someone in a small cell for the rest of their natural lives is pretty inhuman and degrading. Unfortunately, it also happens to be necessary in some cases.

Some people, when released into society, will do far more inhuman and degrading things to as many of their fellow citizens as they can manage to victimize. And for many of these people, it doesn’t matter whether you release them in 5 years or 50 years… their actions will be the same.

It’s sad that we must lock someone away for the rest of their lives. And the conditions would be intolerable to most of us. But it’s necessary for the maintenance of a civilized society.

Shump on July 9, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Elites like those running the EU (and liberals in this country) forget the true, core practical reason that Justice is important, and by that I mean a form of Justice that is acceptable and agreed upon by *all* of the people, not just an elite. Justice needs to be publicly administered and carried out for one very simple reason – if the public does not believe that Justice will be administered properly and that their safety is at risk, then Justice will be administered privately, at night and in dark allies. If you want to live a life like that of a 19th century Sicilian, then this is the path to follow.

Tom Servo on July 9, 2013 at 10:51 AM

It has always been the goal of those who oppose the DP to also abolish lwop and life sentences. Don’t let them fool you.

Also, those with long sentences including lwop, have access to certain privileges others in prison do not. This is because they are there longer. They get the best jobs, can obtain degrees, have less restrictions, etc.

Blake on July 9, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Of course, there’s absolutely nothing inhumane and degrading about being raped and/or murdered.

CurtZHP on July 9, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Life without parole is “inhuman and degrading”

Agreed.

A 6-foot drop is much a much better option.

Bruno Strozek on July 9, 2013 at 10:56 AM

It appears the EU can rewrite any statute of any member state merely by claiming it violates some human right which it just made up.

tommyboy on July 9, 2013 at 10:47 AM

It can. The EU is the ‘Federal government’ and its courts are the ‘Supreme Court.’ The law of the EU is supreme to that of its member states.

It’s not only the ‘law’ either. The laws AND regulations of the EU trump those of the member states…and, some of the regs are quite unbelievable and textbook micromanagement. Earlier this year, the EU attempted to ban unlabelled olive oil jugs on restaurant tables. Outcry from across the EU resulted in the withdrawing of the ban.

Don’t forget that this is the same supranational organisation that issued a diktat saying manufacturers could not claim that water can prevent dehydration.

Another example of the European ‘Federal government’ dictating local issues…

(European) Union Power!

Resist We Much on July 9, 2013 at 10:57 AM

The answer is rather obvious. Immediately release the prisoners on the condition that they live with the members of the European Court of Human Rights.

GarandFan on July 9, 2013 at 10:59 AM

EU court: Life without parole is “inhuman and degrading”

I know a fix for that…..

There Goes the Neighborhood on July 9, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Life in the EU is “inhuman and degrading.” How many abortions per year now?

It’s okay. Alles in Ordnung when Islam takes over. Just a matter of time.

spiritof61 on July 9, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Liberals seem to consistently side with murderers and go against victims. I just read an article where the ACLU is standing for Aaron Hernandez since he is being forced to live in solitary confinement. These people are crazy!

jeffn21 on July 9, 2013 at 11:15 AM

And on the 8th day the Lord created the Europeans, to demonstrate the dangers of the slippery slope to the rest of mankind.

Valkyriepundit on July 9, 2013 at 11:15 AM

EU court: Life without parole is “inhuman and degrading”

US public opinion: Taking any opinion from the EU court under consideration is not only “inhuman and degrading,” it’s plain stupid.

Kingfisher on July 9, 2013 at 11:17 AM

It can. The EU is the ‘Federal government’ and its courts are the ‘Supreme Court.’ The law of the EU is supreme to that of its member states.

It’s not only the ‘law’ either. The laws AND regulations of the EU trump those of the member states…and, some of the regs are quite unbelievable and textbook micromanagement. Earlier this year, the EU attempted to ban unlabelled olive oil jugs on restaurant tables. Outcry from across the EU resulted in the withdrawing of the ban.

Don’t forget that this is the same supranational organisation that issued a diktat saying manufacturers could not claim that water can prevent dehydration.

Another example of the European ‘Federal government’ dictating local issues…

(European) Union Power!

Resist We Much on July 9, 2013 at 10:57 AM

*sigh* as Croatia joins the EU & begins its march towards death.

22044 on July 9, 2013 at 11:19 AM

I can’t find a violin tiny enough to express my profound sorrow.

John the Libertarian on July 9, 2013 at 11:32 AM

As someone living in the UK, I’m fine with prisoners being the technical possibility of parole… as long as there is no practical possibility for some of them.
For example, there are a number of child-killers (to pick an example) who are locked away and are viable for parole at some point; but they’re not getting out, no way.

So sure, let them walk into that parole hearing, let them make their case to a parole committe who stare back silent and unmoving, until their lips stutter and their words die. Then they can be thanked for their time, and escorted back, to await their inevitable rejection in 6 to 8 weeks.

Because giving them false hope is apparently a kindness.

Ramadahl on July 9, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Ed, your headline is incorrect. The Strasbourg Court of Human Rights is not an “EU court”.

aengus on July 9, 2013 at 11:36 AM

How about no life at all because some low life took it for money or pleasure? – that’s really inhuman & degrading. The murderer should not enjoy freedom while his victim is worm food.

Chessplayer on July 9, 2013 at 11:36 AM

People need to watch those max security prison shows on Nat Geo. Watch a few of those and you come away with the thought of why these animals were not put down long ago. It is really eye opening to see some of these lifers. Many are really bad and I mean nightmare bad critters. The problem is that many of these people that oppose the DP and LWP are seeing it for the perspective of themselves being in there and how awful it would be. They think if it would be awful for them that is must be awful for the criminal and it really bothers them emotionally.

Dr. Frank Enstine on July 9, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Hey Europeans, if you’re feeling kind of dizzy, it’s because your entire culture is circling the bowl and you’re just along for the ride. Don’t feel too lonely, tho… we’re not that damned far behind you.

CantCureStupid on July 9, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Yet another reason for the UK to leave the EU, no matter what The Dear Leader wants.

WannabeAnglican on July 9, 2013 at 11:53 AM

How about no life at all because some low life took it for money or pleasure? – that’s really inhuman & degrading. The murderer should not enjoy freedom while his victim is worm food.

Chessplayer on July 9, 2013 at 11:36 AM

It’s two different things for the liberal mind. Sure the victim was unfortunate but, two wrongs don’t make a right. Punishing somebody because they hurt or killed an innocent person will not bring that person back.

I got a little off track there but, take this little story for what it’s worth. Many years ago I worked with a woman who had gotten broken into while she was at work. The scum bag that broke into her house ended up playing with her dog for a while. He was badly bitten and called 911 from her house. The dog managed to bite off two of his fingers as well as inflicting many other bites.
What do you think happen?
Well the woman was arrested for having a dangerous, unrestrained and unsupervised dog. She also got sued by the guy that broke in and the dog was put down. Two wrongs do not make a right.

Dr. Frank Enstine on July 9, 2013 at 11:57 AM

23/1, nothing cruel about it. 3 squares, housing and medical. Better than they deserves many times.

Bmore on July 9, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Better than some o us who go work everyday do. How the f is that cruel?

Doomsday on July 9, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Hmmm, and here I thought that in the UK a sentence of life without parole meant at most 20 years.

Even 20 years in prison could very well be considered inhuman and degrading. Surprised that “confinement at home for 5 years” wouldn’t be considered sufficient and humane punishment for the worst possible crime to the leftist Euroweenies.

Me, I’m all for degrading, but humane, sentences for those criminals so worthy of the punishment for their crimes. If only they could learn to be better people from the punishment deserved and meted out.

hawkeye54 on July 9, 2013 at 12:02 PM

23/1, nothing cruel about it. 3 squares, housing and medical. Better than they deserves many times.

Bmore on July 9, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Better than some o us who go work everyday do. How the f is that cruel?

Well, Moochelle thinks that life in the WH is the equivalent of being confined in a luxury jail, so being confined in a real one must be extremely cruel.

hawkeye54 on July 9, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Automatic parole (amnesty) when the Democrats balance the budget.

CrazyGene on July 9, 2013 at 12:23 PM

But it makes the judges feel better.

pat on July 9, 2013 at 12:27 PM

In other prison news…

“Officials said 30,000 California inmates refused meals Monday at the start of a prison strike involving two-thirds of the state’s 33 lockups, as well as four out-of-state facilities.

Participants refused breakfast and lunch, said corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton. In addition, 2,300 prisoners skipped work or classes, some saying they were sick.

The protest was organized by a small group of inmates held in solitary confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison near the Oregon border. Their complaints focus on policies that put inmates in isolation indefinitely, some for decades, if they are suspected of having ties to prison gangs.

They want a five-year limit on such isolation. They also seek education and rehabilitation programs and the right to make monthly phone calls….”

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-ff-prison-strike-20130709,0,3801154.story

workingclass artist on July 9, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Wow. For once I half-agree with the EU Court, but for totally different reasons. I’ve long believed that five or so years should probably be the max allowable prison sentence available, providing we can establish some thruthful sentencing laws. If you’ve done something so heinous and debased that five years isn’t sufficient, then off with your head. And I mean that last part literally; off-with-your-head. The Guillotine was originally a merciful way to dispatch someone. It’s quick, relatively painless, absolutely certain, and yet has a certain horrible majesty to it that death by lethal injection never will.

It would give the victim’s survivors the closure they need, and would send a message to the criminal world that spending your twilight years in prison doing drugs, drinking hooch, and raping newbies is no longer an option.

CaptFlood on July 9, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Don’t worry; once sharia becomes the law of the land in Europe, they won’t have to worry about life without parole, because death by beheading will be the punishment for jaywalking.

Hayabusa on July 9, 2013 at 1:13 PM

EU court: Life without parole is “inhuman and degrading”

Damn! I actually agree with something the Europeans spout. Of course my solution is to just kill em instead humanely subject all those so sentenced to painless involuntary euthanasia.

Oldnuke on July 9, 2013 at 1:32 PM

EU court: Life without parole is “inhuman and degrading”

Damn! I actually agree with something the Europeans spout. Of course my solution is to just kill em instead humanely subject all those so sentenced to painless involuntary euthanasia.

Oldnuke on July 9, 2013 at 1:32 PM

I forgot! It would be for the children.

Oldnuke on July 9, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Let me just clarifty a point of fact: The European Court of Human Rights is not an “EU Court” — it’s a European court. It has jurisdiction over all countries that have signed the European Convention on Human Rights, which is to say all 28 EU countries plus 19 other countries, including Russia and Turkey. A notable exception is Belarus, which has its, um, peculiar brand of jurisprudence (president Lukashenko is always right).

Time Lord on July 9, 2013 at 1:37 PM

EU court: Life without parole is “inhuman and degrading”

I completey agree! Instead of putting murderers, rapists, & the rest of the worst in our population who have no socially redeeming value & contribute nothing to society into prison where they have an automatic membership to the best gyms our tax dollars can buy, libraries, internet, TV, education, 3 squares a day, & a roof over their heads…all at tax payer expense…we should just PUT THEM TO DEATH so they do not suffer all that ‘inhumane and degrading’ treatment simply because they brutally murdered, raped, & robbed peaceful, law-abiding, contributing members of society!

Be merciful – put ‘em to death!

At a minimum the entire legal system needs to be scrapped & started over, beginning with the initial foundation of focussing on the VICTIMS of these crimes 1st and foremost rather than worrying about making the CRIMINALS rights, comfort, & welfare as the main priority! NOW THERE’S AN IDEA!

easyt65 on July 9, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Alexander Solzhenitsyn pointed out in The Gulag Archipelago that in a Socialist system the only true criminals that need to be thrown into a deep black hole forever are the political prisoners. In fact, Orwell said as much in Nineteen-Eighty Four.

When Socialists are in charge and crime escalates they either to ignore it or to blame the influence of their ideological opponents. They won’t address crime unless they can make political hay out of it to their advantage.

Look at all the shootings in Chicago. It makes them (Socialists) feel uncomfortable because it’s almost always blacks shooting other blacks. So what do they do? Obviously, you blame white gun-toting Right Wingnuts and the “gun culture” they perpetuate. Also obvious is that what needs to be done is to tighten gun regulations and say that the Second Amendment is outdated and meant only for the military and hunting. Doesn’t matter if you live hundreds of miles from Chicago out in the sticks and in a different state.

An interesting view of this Socialist quandary involving violence is to read Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange. Here you have a Socialist writing about crime and how Conservative Socialists try to handle it as opposed to Liberal Socialists.

Criminals aren’t a threat to the Socialist state, rather the real threat to them are the “reactionary” subversives. If anything, more crime makes the State more important as citizens will look to it for more security. If crime happens to be low, then the State can take credit. If the State decides to be lenient, then the State looks merciful and magnanimous in the eyes of the Sheeple.

So, fundamentally the Socialist view is that crime is not the criminal’s fault, and crime can be good for the business of Leftist politics if managed properly.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 9, 2013 at 4:23 PM