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To want life in prison to mean life in prison

(204 Posts)
drnoitall Tue 18-Feb-14 09:33:16

For horrendously serious crimes.
Watching the news this morning and from What I understand a decision will be made today about whether or not England and Wales will uphold the decision for life in prison to mean whole of life in prison for people who commit the most abhorant crimes or to bow down to Europe who call it unlawful.
I'm astonished that a human rights lawyer used the word "degrading" in reference to prisoners reaching old age in prison during a whole life sentence.
AIBU to absolutely want life to mean life for people who commit vile crimes against people.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 18-Feb-14 09:34:52

Have a look at the Norwegian prison system. Compare their sentences, their prisons, their reoffending rates with ours.

OP YANBU. I cannot for the life of me see why soemone as depraved as Ian Brady for example, who has shown no remorse whatsoever, should ever be released into society.
In reality we have a very small number of prisoners facing whole life terms, I think it is around 50 people. They have committed what are deemed by a court of law to be the most abhorrent crimes and their sentence should reflect that.

angelos02 Tue 18-Feb-14 10:55:45

YANBU

All these idiots talking about human rights. I bet they'd soon change their tune if something horrific happened to someone they loved.

StarGazeyPond Tue 18-Feb-14 10:57:47

^^ What angelos said.

SaucyJack Tue 18-Feb-14 10:59:27

YANBU.

B*gger Norway. I'd much rather re-offending rates were kept down by whole life tariffs. Some people simply should not be walking the streets.

CoffeeTea103 Tue 18-Feb-14 10:59:52

Yanbu, they ceased the right to be thought of as human beings once they committed those crimes and should be written off.

DuckworthLewis Tue 18-Feb-14 11:03:23

You are missing the point.

The point is that these sentences need to be reviewed every so often, not that the prisoner will be necessarily be released at that review.

It's very possible that the worst offenders will spend the rest of their lives in prison, nobody is saying they won't.

It's the absence of any review process that is considered to be contrary to a person's human rights, not the length of sentence in and of itself.

DuckworthLewis Tue 18-Feb-14 11:03:57

Yanbu, they ceased the right to be thought of as human beings once they committed those crimes and should be written off.

Really? You really think that?

Wow.

ChoudeBruxelles Tue 18-Feb-14 11:05:36

No one is proposing letting people out who show no remorse and still pose a danger. It's about introducing a mandatory review at points within the sentence

Chummiestwin Tue 18-Feb-14 11:07:28

Yanbu the punishment should be harsh for these type of offenders, if it's a whole life tariff so be it!

DreamingofSummer Tue 18-Feb-14 11:07:57

<<Yanbu, they ceased the right to be thought of as human beings once they committed those crimes and should be written off>>

You are Katie Holmes and I claim my £5.

If you are not Katie Holmes, angry shock

YABU,yes keep them prison for life, if deemed necessary but only after regular review.

they ceased the right to be thought of as human beings once they committed those crimes and should be written off
What an appalling attitude. sad

Chummiestwin Tue 18-Feb-14 11:13:16

I think what coffee tea meant is that tge crimes that these individuals committed where so abhorrent that it seems subhuman. Remember whole life tariffs are for those who have committed the most heinous of crimes, as a result have to serve their punishment even if it means growing old in prison. remember they most probably cut short a life and changed a family for life, it is right that they are severely punished for it!

Beeyump Tue 18-Feb-14 11:16:23

CoffeeTea103 I take it you would like the death penalty to be reintroduced?

Beeyump Tue 18-Feb-14 11:17:10

Katie Holmes?? Hahaha, I think you might mean Katie Hopkins grin

MrsAMerrick Tue 18-Feb-14 11:18:04

Our justice system is based on the notion of rehabilitation, If offenders are given a life sentence with no possibility of parole, then that undermines the concept of rehabilitation.

As others have said, if at the reviews it is agreed that the offender is not ready for release into society then s/he will stay in custody. However, the system needs to have the review process built into it.

Imo, the Norweigian system is much better than ours. Yes, I'm sure that if something horrendous happened to my dc I would personally like to see the person responsible suffer as much as possible. However, I don't think that that is a sound basis on which to build a justice system.

CoffeeTea103 Tue 18-Feb-14 11:18:12

If you know someone who was a victim of a horrific crime then you would see things very very differently. You don't see them as being human. You see them being given rights yet the victim had no right to live. If you've experienced it then maybe you can understand why I feel this.

DuckworthLewis Tue 18-Feb-14 11:18:28

<<bangs head on desk>>

as a result have to serve their punishment even if it means growing old in prison.

Yes, they most probably still will spend the rest of their lives in prison, nobody is disagreeing with that!

What is being proposed is that there should be periodic reviews, not that they will necessarily be released.

I'm not sure which part of this is so difficult to understand?

Fifyfomum Tue 18-Feb-14 11:20:36

Getting life does not mean getting life in prison.

Prison is a very expensive thing. Better to have good probation systems that monitor people within the community for life. That's what life means.

Of course such people should be punished, no one is saying any different, but believing that any person or group of people is "sub-human" is an anathema to me.

I think there are only 54 whole-lifers. It's not like we throw the sentence around willy-nilly. I don't think that it so bad to think that in a country of 60+ million people under 60 are beyond rehabilitation.

Chummiestwin Tue 18-Feb-14 11:25:44

Well yes whole life tarrifs are that, the person is punished severely and should be kept for the most severe of crimes, quite rightly. Not all can be rehabilitated, some people just cannot. I am sure yes some of you would feel differently if it happened to your family! The whole life tarrif reflects this, the need for tge criminal to have a punishment that reflects the severity of their crimes.

angelos02 Tue 18-Feb-14 11:31:45

Some people commit crimes that are 'sub-human' and they deserve to be 'written off'. A life in prison is a pretty light thing to get considering the crimes some people commit.

WooWooOwl Tue 18-Feb-14 11:33:51

YANBU.

Prison should be less about rehabilitation and more about punishment and protection for the public IMO.

It is crazy that out reoffending rates are so high, especially for lower level crimes, and that to me suggests that there isn't enough punishment in prison.

A temporary loss of freedom is enough punishment for some crimes, but for some, or for repeated offences, just being in prison with access to education, television, a nice gym etc is not enough in terms of punishment.

MiniSoksMakeHardWork Tue 18-Feb-14 11:34:11

We already have review points in life sentences once tariff has been reached. I have no idea what is being proposed so will look. But how different is it to what we actually have, or is it a case of people MIT really understanding how sentencing works?

SaucyJack Tue 18-Feb-14 11:35:11

If offenders are given a life sentence with no possibility of parole, then that undermines the concept of rehabilitation.

I'm fine with that meself. I just think certain crimes are so terrible that there is no coming back from them. Noone should have an automatic right to a second chance.

Tracey Connelly served five years. Noone can call that justice with a straight face.

BarbarianMum Tue 18-Feb-14 11:37:51

I have no problem with life meaning life in certain, heinous cases. I think you could achieve justice with that principle combined with a system (like the excellent Norwegian one) where the emphasis was largely on the treatment and rehabilitation of offenders.

Chummiestwin Tue 18-Feb-14 11:38:22

I am not sure if some of you realise what horrific crimes some commit. We are not talking about your petty criminal, drug addict, but those who have inflicted depraved acts of cruelty and murder upon another!

K8Middleton Tue 18-Feb-14 11:42:49

Yabu and missing the point. All that is being asked for are periodic reviews where we check to make sure someone should still be there. If you look at sentencing today vs sentencing in the 1960s you will observe the concept of "serious" has changed massively for some crimes. That is a good thing and continuously evaluating and appraising our justice system is what makes us a civilised and humane place to live.

They won't be letting the worst criminals out on the streets so you can put your pitchfork away.

BarbarianMum Tue 18-Feb-14 11:46:54

But there is no point reviewing sentances if there is no possibility of release, is there?

So the question is 'Are some crimes o heinous that the need to punish the offender outways the need to rehabilitate them?'

If the answer is 'yes' then it seems cruel to offer false hope of release.

DuckworthLewis Tue 18-Feb-14 11:48:04

it seems cruel to offer false hope of release

To you perhaps, their argument is that some hope is better than none.

sashh Tue 18-Feb-14 11:48:29

If you keep people in prison for the whole of their lives you end up with at least one prison that is, in reality, a nursing home, a very expensive one.

A life sentence is that, even if you are released it is 'on licence' and you can be recalled.

If you are found guilty of murder in this country you can only be sentenced to life. One of the proposals that could be introduced to allow for sentences of 50 or 100 years, that way you would be eligible to be considered for parole at half way thorough your sentence.

But how can you tell relatives that their loved one is only worth 20 years? Or 30 or 50?

It puts a value on the deceased's life, it makes their death not as bad as another murder, or worse than another murder.

Example

At the moment there is someone serving 2 life terms for the Soham murders.

At the same time there is someone serving one life sentence for killing April Jones.

If you were a relative of any of those three little girls how would you feel if the killers had different sentences?

DreamingofSummer Tue 18-Feb-14 11:48:52

Beeyump

oooops

Hopkins/Holmes/HarrietHarman anything beginning with H will do.

grin

ageofgrandillusion Tue 18-Feb-14 11:49:29

There is more than just Norway though. Some places have very severe justice systems and very low crime rates. The deterrent is high enough. We seem to have the worst of both worlds - an overly lenient justic system AND a poor rehab system. Personally, on issues such as Baby P where there is torture etc involved, I would introduce an exceptional cases rule and hang the fuckers.

DreamingofSummer Tue 18-Feb-14 11:52:26

WooWoo

<<Prison should be less about rehabilitation and more about punishment and protection for the public IMO.

It is crazy that out reoffending rates are so high, especially for lower level crimes, and that to me suggests that there isn't enough punishment in prison. >>

That's a total non sequitor. If the reoffending rates are so high it's because there isn't enough rehabilitation not too much.

MinesAPintOfTea Tue 18-Feb-14 11:52:49

I think that the degrading of the life tariff is related to the rise in popularity for the reintroduction of the death penalty.

Some of the people growing old in prison now may well have only just missed the death penalty for their crimes (last execution was in 1964, the younger of the murders would now be 70 if he had had a life tariff instead). They should be counting their blessings that they committed their crimes in a more understanding environment.

If someone has been given a whole life sentence then there only chance for review should be through the appeals system or if new evidence comes to light.

MrsAMerrick Tue 18-Feb-14 11:54:42

saucy I think you are missing the point. Under a system predicated on rehabilitation, everyone should have the right to reviews. There will be some people who end up staying in prison for the whole of their lives under this system, others who will be released into the community under supervision. What you can't have, imo, is a system where some people are deemed worthy of having their potential rehabilitation reviewed and assesed, and others aren't.

OP, if you want to throw out the notion of potential rehabilitation, with what do you want to replace it? If you opt for a purely punitive system you are basically saying that there is no point in trying to get anyone to understand the reasons behind their crime (whether that be shoplifting or murder), so the punishment has to "fit the crime." Personally, I think society would be a much poorer place if we went down that road. If you compare reoffending rates in, say the US (which has fairly punitive laws in most states) and Norway (which focusses much more on rehabilitation), you will see that there's quite a strong argument for the rehabilitation approach.

Chummiestwin, I think we all know the difference between petty criminals and sadistic murderers, and of course the type and length of sentence needs to be varied accordingly, but not the principles undermining our justice system.

YABVU

The point is about reviewing every once in a while because people change over a lifetime. It is about saying that however bad a crime it is possible to repent and transform into someone who would never repeat the crime. You should not be sentenced at 20 for a brutal murder and then chucked into a dark hole. The case should be looked at after 25 years or so and reviewed, maybe every 5 years, to see if you are still the same person capable of such a crime and not a different person.

There is a massive disconnect between the public desire to punish for punishment sake and what research repeatedly shows works to bring down crime. Long sentences and hard punishment doesn't work. It just makes some people feel a bit better and more vindicated.

PGTip Tue 18-Feb-14 12:01:49

People who don't respect the human rights of others don't deserve to have their own respected.

SaucyJack Tue 18-Feb-14 12:06:09

What you can't have, imo, is a system where some people are deemed worthy of having their potential rehabilitation reviewed and assesed, and others aren't.

I'm not missing the point- just disagreeing with you. I personally think you absolutely can and should have a system in which some people are deemed not worthy or capable of rehab due to the severity of their crime(s).

SaucyJack Tue 18-Feb-14 12:07:18

You should not be sentenced at 20 for a brutal murder and then chucked into a dark hole.

In some cases, then yes- you really should.

Does the victim get a second go at life?

By that reasoning PG, people who don't respect the human rights of serious offenders don't therefore deserve to have their human rights respected. That doesn't make sense! confused

gordyslovesheep Tue 18-Feb-14 12:11:13

Yabu and failing to understand the thing you are opposing

And I have been the 'victim' of a very serious crime .

DreamingofSummer Tue 18-Feb-14 12:16:45

I wouldn't like to share a jury room with some of the haters on this thread.

Fairenuff Tue 18-Feb-14 12:17:34

Re-offending would be 0% if they were in prison for life.

MrsAMerrick Tue 18-Feb-14 12:28:17

But saucy, surely the potential for rehabilitation lies within the person themself, not in the nature of the crime?

Chummiestwin Tue 18-Feb-14 12:28:42

Ooh hug a murderer day today

WooWooOwl Tue 18-Feb-14 12:30:22

That's a total non sequitor. If the reoffending rates are so high it's because there isn't enough rehabilitation not too much.

In my view, reoffending rates are so high because there isn't enough deterrent.

It shouldn't always be about rehabilitation, we aren't talking about people with an illness who have created victims unwillingly. These are adults with control over themselves who have actively chosen to commit a crime. They don't need rehabilitation as if they are suffering from an eating disorder or something, they need to know that choosing to commit the crime has dire enough consequences for them that they choose the other option of not committing the crime.

People need to be scared enough of the consequences of committing the crime that they choose not to do it.

ReallyTired Tue 18-Feb-14 12:30:48

No one worried about the human rights of the victims. Many victims of sadistic murderers suffered rather more than being thrown into a "dark hole". Sarah Payne was not guilty of any crime, yet her suffering and that of her family is unthinkable. She was only eight years old when she was raped and murderd. What about her rights and that of her family to family life? (Or simply to life?)

I feel that there are tiny number of prisoners who should be chucked into a metaphorical dark hole for the rest of their living days. If they repent of their crime then prehaps they will have forgiveness in the after life - who knows?

"There is a massive disconnect between the public desire to punish for punishment sake and what research repeatedly shows works to bring down crime. Long sentences and hard punishment doesn't work. It just makes some people feel a bit better and more vindicated."

A justice system does have an element of punishement as well as deterent and in appriopate cases - rehabilitation. I have no objection to reviews, but I think that in many cases it would just give false hope.

Chummiestwin Tue 18-Feb-14 12:31:07

No I don't have a respect for murderers human rights, what like Brady, or others of that ilk, but then again I haven't taken some bodies life!

Chummiestwin Tue 18-Feb-14 12:32:51

Exactly really, none of these hug a murderer supporters have even mentioned the human rights of the victim and their family, that is where my feelings lie

Triliteral Tue 18-Feb-14 12:38:05

Even in Norway, those who are deemed to be a danger to society can have their sentences extended (multiple times if required). I think this is sometimes necessary.

SaucyJack Tue 18-Feb-14 12:45:03

But saucy, surely the potential for rehabilitation lies within the person themself, not in the nature of the crime?

I think where the potential for rehab lies is purely academic tbh. Again, I don't actually think certain people should have the right to try for a second chance. Some offences (IMO) are so appalling that I don't think there can ever be a place for the perpetrator in civilized society again.

Who the fuck is 'hugging a murderer"? What a obscene turn of phrase.shock
PG said earlier that People who don't respect the human rights of others don't deserve to have their own respected and I agree, everyone is deserving of this.

Treating criminals as human being in no may insults or devalues their victims and I greatly resent having such perverse value judgements ascribed to me. angry

lljkk Tue 18-Feb-14 12:52:06

Some places have very severe justice systems and very low crime rates. The deterrent is high enough.

The only good example I can think of is the PRC, and they still have horrendous corruption to deal with. Saudi? But high incidence of dv. Hmm... Please give more examples where this works well?

Chummiestwin Tue 18-Feb-14 12:56:40

I don't Sauvignon I haven't taken some bodies life,what a silly thing to say. It's not like with like. what about the human rights of the victim that where my sympathies lie. Just because I do not respect the murderers human rights does not mean I want to kill them, just that I don't, and that they should be severely punishedp!

gordyslovesheep Tue 18-Feb-14 12:58:08

'Hug a murderer' is a petty little label indicating a lost argument imho

People arguing for individual cases to be reviewed on an individual basis are not hugging, siding with or supporting murderers, they are supporting a fair justice system

gordyslovesheep Tue 18-Feb-14 12:59:11

'Hug a murderer' is a petty little label indicating a lost argument imho

People arguing for individual cases to be reviewed on an individual basis are not hugging, siding with or supporting murderers, they are supporting a fair justice system

All humans have human rights, the clue is in the name.

SnowBells Tue 18-Feb-14 13:05:16

YANBU.

I, too, think that once humans commit vile crimes, they cease to be humans in my eyes...

Why always try to be so politically correct?!? How many second chances do you want to give people??? You don't get a life sentence for a minor offence!

Beeyump Tue 18-Feb-14 13:10:30

But what do you mean 'they cease to be humans'? What does that actually entail?

I don't think seeing all human beings as human being is 'politically correct', I do believe it is morally correct.

Chummiestwin Tue 18-Feb-14 13:15:03

No not really Sauvignon when you commit a serious crim like murder you loose some of the liberties and freedoms that normal people have. No it's not a lost argument, what my argument is that in the most serious cases whole life tariffs should apply, seems perfectly reasonable to me!

Again, I don't actually think certain people should have the right to try for a second chance. Some offences (IMO) are so appalling that I don't think there can ever be a place for the perpetrator in civilized society again

Totally agree with that. Some cases are just so appalling that I don't believe the perpetrator should get another chance.......the boys that killed James Bulger for one, evil kids who will/have grown up to be evil adults.

Beeyump Tue 18-Feb-14 13:24:38

I don't believe that you can label children as evil.

SnowBells Tue 18-Feb-14 13:24:50

Morally correct? Is that some 'higher ground' thing? Those people showed no morals...

Not being a human = not being able to claim human rights. They likely took many other people's human right to live!

SnowBells Tue 18-Feb-14 13:26:40

Beeyump

You are too nice. They were old enough to know right from wrong. 150 years ago, they wouldn't have been children.

No not really Sauvignon when you commit a serious crim like murder you loose some of the liberties and freedoms that normal people have.

Can you find me someone on this thread that disagrees with the above? I was suggesting that criminal should not be deprived of their freedom but they do not cease to be human.

neverthebride Tue 18-Feb-14 13:27:43

For a very small number of people life should mean life but that should be subject to review in a civilized society.

And for those who feel harsher sentences cut reoffending - the USA has a notoriously harsh and often unjust criminal justice system including the death penalty in several states.

They also routinely give life without possibility of parole sentences to CHILDREN - the youngest being a 13 year old in 2001.

They also have one of the highest murder rates in the world and incarcerate more of their citizens than any other country. In 2011 2.9% of the entire adult population (juvenile offenders not included) were in prison, jail (prison and jail are separate things in the US) on parole or probation (US bureau of justice statistics).

Severe sentences and even the death penalty are neither a deterrent nor a solution.

I don't believe that you can label children as evil

Really?? I can't think of a word more suitable for those two boys! I watched a really interesting docu a few weeks ago on whether some people are born evil or whether circumstances make them go that way.....and some people were just born that way!

trampstamp Tue 18-Feb-14 13:31:24

In regards to bloody Norway

They prison population has gone down why because they have changed the sentencing so people are still acting mad but they are simply not punishing them by sending them to jail

Personally I am unmoved by the plight of any criminal and it all boils down to the fact no one makes anyone go to jail you do have a choice not to kill a whole family

If I had my way in addition to whole life tariffs a fishmonger would do round twice a day slapping each inmate with a haddock

zebbidy Tue 18-Feb-14 13:31:31

The point is about reviewing every once in a while because people change over a lifetime. It is about saying that however bad a crime it is possible to repent and transform into someone who would never repeat the crime. You should not be sentenced at 20 for a brutal murder and then chucked into a dark hole. The case should be looked at after 25 years or so and reviewed, maybe every 5 years, to see if you are still the same person capable of such a crime and not a different person.
They get to relive their lives yet their victims remain dead! Whether they have 'changed' or not the punishment should remain. The victims family has a forever sentence of grief, they don't get the chance of a review to bring back their loved ones.

Showy Tue 18-Feb-14 13:33:28

Sauvignon, can you just stick a little post script to all of your comments on here with 'and Showy agrees with every word I say' on it? Saves me the bother of typing. Cheers!

Chummiestwin Tue 18-Feb-14 13:33:38

I don't know when i have seen documentaries on murders, there seems something dead in the individual's eyes?0, something that most humans you don't see, they almost look subhuman. Well there must be seriously something wrong for somebody to murder in cold premeditated blood.

The prisoners currently serving whole life tariffs are the likes of Jeremy Bamber, now in my eyes, someone who shoots dead his parents & 6 year old nephews and tries to blame his mentally ill sister in order to obtain his parents life insurance, is beyond hope or help, what benefit would reviewing his sentence have? Other than to waste more time and money, create more paperwork etc.

The same applies to other WLT prisoners, Dennis Nilsen, Rosemary West and so on. Monsters in the very truest sense of the word. As someone said upthread, I don't think it is unreasonable to think that out of 60 million UK residents, such a very small number are beyond redemption or rehabilitation.

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Tue 18-Feb-14 13:38:11

YANBU, and I realise what people are saying about the case "just being reviewed" but that does leave it open to people getting out. And yes, right now we have rapists and pedophiles on the street who were let out early for good behavior..or because they "no longer pose a threat" and I am sorry, but I really haven't got the faith in the justice system to believe that life means life for those who really deserve it

gordyslovesheep Tue 18-Feb-14 13:46:49

You have no faith in the justice system yet you want it to have the power to lock people up for life without review ?

DarlingGrace Tue 18-Feb-14 13:50:20

Shawshank Redemption, anyone?

Thanks Showy, I should have asked you to take over whilst I made lunch. smile

Good point gordy.

thinking101 Tue 18-Feb-14 14:13:44

I they forego their responsibility to be law abiding then they forego their rights with it. The two go hand in hand.

rumbleinthrjungle Tue 18-Feb-14 14:14:25

Re: children and the idea of evil: 'Cries Unheard' by Gitta Sereny makes thought provoking reading, as do many of her interview based books.

Human rights are to be warm, fed, safe, clothed, sheltered. I am completely for any adult mentally ill enough or disturbed enough to commit this particular extreme category of crime to be safe and to be well looked after, but that extreme crime to me means they've permanently forfeited the right to freedom or to be a part of society. It's no longer all about them, and they have had justice, they have had their day in court and the objective consideration of all the facts when the sentence was passed.

What concerns me about the reviews is that they sound very reasonable, but they won't be just a formality or a paperwork exercise. They will be hugely expensive, like all appeals and hearings are, they will be very distressing for the families of the victims and will generate a lot of publicity which can be an immense source of satisfaction to people like Ian Brady, and they will be legal proceedings based on whether there is sufficient objective evidence to prevent moving towards a release, and it means that some who shouldn't be released will legally have to be even when many people involved will know they shouldn't be, because it can't be proven beyond reasonable doubt that the risk is high enough.

When the death penalty was abolished it was on the grounds that life would mean life, and that was the very thin end of the wedge. I think this will be the thin end of another wedge.

Although interesting that David McGready who should have been released after serving 20 years for the murder of 3 small children is still in prison years later because his safety can't be effectively managed anywhere else.

DreamingofSummer Tue 18-Feb-14 14:17:31

BettySwallocks

<<the boys that killed James Bulger for one, evil kids who will/have grown up to be evil adults.>>

And your evidence for that statement is?

Beeyump Tue 18-Feb-14 14:18:34

The Gitta Sereny book looks very interesting (scanning the goodreads reviews).

Evidence - why let an ignorant opinion be clouded by evidence? hmm
They might have watched a 'documentary' about it, that will make them experts, won't it?

diamondlizard Tue 18-Feb-14 14:22:17

i want life to mean life [whole life in prision]

plud tougher sentances for peadophiles

Beeyump Tue 18-Feb-14 14:24:34

Yup! Some people are just born evil! A documentary said it was so!

You can tell it in their eyes!

www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/carole-malone-jon-venables-amy-2033326

Not sure on how to link so don't know if that will work. Yes, yes, it's the Mirror but it's common knowledge what this person has been up to. Google it, there are loads of articles to read.

ReadyToPopAndFresh Tue 18-Feb-14 14:27:02

You have no faith in the justice system yet you want it to have the power to lock people up for life without review ?

I would a million times rather a person is put away because of a jury then released because a panel says it;s OK. yes.

If new evidence comes to light then that's when lawyers get involved and people get re-tried.

Showy Tue 18-Feb-14 14:29:10

Sauvignon, are these eyes too close together perchance?

Chummiestwin Tue 18-Feb-14 14:30:00

Blimey some of these comments are silly, yes from a psychological point of view some people are born evil, it's in their genetic make up, environmental factors may well provide a catalyst for it, geese!

Beeyump Tue 18-Feb-14 14:30:40

WHAT IS EVIL? HOW CAN SOMEONE BE 'BORN IT'?

Chummiestwin Tue 18-Feb-14 14:31:13

Grow up some of you, sound like you are at school.

Beeyump Tue 18-Feb-14 14:31:36

And what have geese to do with anything...

there seems something dead in the individual's eyes?0, something that most humans you don't see, they almost look subhuman

Yep, eyes too close together Showy hmm

Chummiestwin Tue 18-Feb-14 14:32:55

My point exactly

It's half term round here, maybe that's where the infantile opinions are originating from? hmm

Beeyump - would you want to live next door to Jon Venables thebn?? Maybe you could make him a nice cup of tea, ask him to be a nice boy and give him a good talking to.

Fucking hell, some people are born evil and do not deserve to walk the streets.

Chummiestwin Tue 18-Feb-14 14:34:42

Yes Sauvignon mabey

Tbh I think there are certain crimes from which one cannot be rehabilitated.

A paedophile. No length of time in prison will "cure" them. They will always present a danger to children insociety, and those who have proved that they will act upon their urges should be permanently removed from society.

Beeyump Tue 18-Feb-14 14:39:01

Betty, Betty, let's agree to disagree about the being born evil thing? I'm not seeking to defend Jon Venables' actions, but I don't believe in the 'lock him up and throw away the key', or 'hang the bastard' sort of sentiments, which were expressed as comments on that Mirror article.

SaucyJack Tue 18-Feb-14 14:42:40

rumble

David McGreavy is IMO a "perfect" example of someone whose crimes have crossed the point of no return.

Apparently his rehabilitation is demonstrated by his having taken up art in prison (!) It's almost funny. Except it isn't.

gordyslovesheep Tue 18-Feb-14 14:46:23

I might well live next door to him, I wouldn't know.

Try googling ray wire and the gracewell institute and look at the sucess they had with sexual offenders

It's just not as cut and dried as true crime weekly would have you believe

gordyslovesheep Tue 18-Feb-14 14:47:28

Ray wyre sorry

Beeyump Tue 18-Feb-14 14:47:53

Absolutely, gordy.

No, it's certainly not a case of one size fits all which is the only reason I don't agree with the death sentence.....however, I do truely believe that some people are beyond help and cannot be rehabilitated and should live the rest of their days locked up for everyone's safety.

Of course watching documentary's does not make you an expert but it gives an interesting insight........I am really interested in what makes people tick so have read a lot of books and watched a lot of stuff on things like this as I find it quite fascinating, not that I am an expert or would ever claim to be one!

neverthebride Tue 18-Feb-14 14:50:41

'Evil' is at best a nebulous concept.

I have known victims of serious crimes and perpetrators of serious crime. A couple are in my opinion extremely dangerous and absolutely should be imprisoned for public safety and yes, for punishment.

I have never met an 'evil' person though. Horrific deeds that could be considered 'evil', yes but not an 'evil'person.

ilovesooty Tue 18-Feb-14 16:03:54

I wonder if some people on this thread have considered what our prisons would be like if we deny any possibility of rehabilitation to all life sentenced prisoners?

DreamingofSummer Tue 18-Feb-14 16:09:36

BettySwallocks

That article refers only to one of the two boys.

"Common knowledge" is not evidence.

No-one is born evil.

MostWicked Tue 18-Feb-14 16:14:21

I'd much rather re-offending rates were kept down by whole life tariffs

It's a delusional belief. Whole life tariffs do nothing to prevent re-offending rates. Out of all of the prisoners in the UK, who have been given a whole life tariff, several have been reviewed after 25 years. None, not a single one, has EVER been released. The judgement today, merely said, that we will no longer bother reviewing. It closed a door that no-one has ever used and no-one was ever likely to use. It was a PR exercise because people used to get very angry every time the likes of Myra Hindley asked for her sentence to be reviewed, despite the fact that she was always refused.

Yanbu, they ceased the right to be thought of as human beings once they committed those crimes and should be written off

The minute we stop treating anyone, for any reason, as a human being with human rights, then that says more about us than it does them. We become the same as them, and as such, cease to be a civilised society.

drnoitall Tue 18-Feb-14 16:25:58

I certainly wasn't expecting so many replies, I've been out and just had the chance to read them all.

Sooty makes a good point, however I still want whole life sentence to mean just that for the most horrendous crimes.

Wow some people have very tame views of evil abhorant criminals.

AngelaDaviesHair Tue 18-Feb-14 16:31:00

I see nothing wrong with whole life tariffs in very exceptional cases. How many of us would quibble with giving Hitler a whole life tariff, to use an obvious example?

Equally, I would have real concerns if they started to become too common. What counts as 'too common' is a very hard thing to gauge. I don't envy criminal court judges their job.

neverthebride Tue 18-Feb-14 16:36:16

I don't think anyone here has really been saying that whole life sentences shouldn't be used in exceptional circumstances - just that they should be subject to scrutiny and review.

AngelaDaviesHair Tue 18-Feb-14 16:37:50

Not much point in reviewing them: it's a pretty binary whole life or not.

drnoitall Tue 18-Feb-14 16:41:40

I understand completely "most wicked" your point.
But,
When our justice system can at times seem to give too much lenience to criminals it is difficult to have faith in it let alone think beyond what seems fair..... Victims and their families suffer for the rest of their life therefore the perpetrators should too.

IMO that means not wishing to acknowledge that they have "human" rights when they have not acted so themselves.

neverthebride Tue 18-Feb-14 16:52:24

The point in reviewing them is because any society should review taking someone's liberty for the whole of their life.

Not because they will be released - they won't be!. Ian Brady, Rose West, Peter Sutcliffe etc will NEVER be released but because any civilised society cannot operate a 'throw away the key' attitude.

There are some crimes for which a whole life tariff should apply BUT saying that any judge or government at one point in time decides that and it should never be looked again is not acceptable.

THAT'S why it should be subject to periodic review. Because a decent society does that.

drnoitall Tue 18-Feb-14 17:01:09

Never
So if somebody is given whole of life sentence are you saying the review is merely protocol?

drnoitall Tue 18-Feb-14 17:01:57

And infact a pointless but costly exercise.

joanofarchitrave Tue 18-Feb-14 17:04:51

About two specific things:

The European Court of Human Rights did not say that whole life terms were unlawful, in fact they said that they WERE justifiable, just that there should be some way of reviewing them.

and

'If you know someone who was a victim of a horrific crime then you would see things very very differently. You don't see them as being human.'
Not necessarily. No, I've never had anything bad happen to me. I do know that I'm capable of murder, though perhaps not the aggravated murders we are talking about.
The Forgiveness Project

AngelaDaviesHair Tue 18-Feb-14 17:05:17

I take that point to a degree, never. It is a bit like saying no Parliament can bind its successors in perpetuity. There is always the possibility of change, however theoretical.

At the same time, I think it is important to avoid having periodical reviews that are not going to change anything. Better to have to right to apply for review based on change of circumstance than periodical reviews of little point. But then the right to apply has now gone. It is odd.

neverthebride Tue 18-Feb-14 17:26:12

Drnoitall - No, not a pointless exercise. It should happen because circumstances change, the reliability of evidence changes and I don't think anyone should be 'condemned' as it were by any individual judge or any individual government at one point in time. Evidence, Judges, Governments and societal views should always be reviewed periodically in my opinion because they DO change and they are NOT infallible.

Reviewing a severe judgement on any member of society should happen because that's what makes us a civilised society.

gordyslovesheep Tue 18-Feb-14 17:50:51

spot on Joan

RedHelenB Tue 18-Feb-14 18:20:13

I totally agree with rehabilitation BUT I think the real punishment for Myra Hindley was the fact that she never was released & she was desperate to be.So maybe in cases such as that life should remain life.

UnderYourCommand Tue 18-Feb-14 18:41:07

If your really worried about risks of harm and the risks of re-offending, whole life tariffs have NOTHING on the plans underway to privatise the Probation Service.

People who carry a high risk of causing serious harm will be supervised in the community by the cheapest workers private companies can find. No qualifications needed.

This scandal is designed to 'save money' and 'reduce re-offending' though there is no evidence whatsoever this would work.

There is a programme on Radio 4's File on Four slot this evening at 8pm.

None of this appeared anywhere in the ConDems manifesto, and the Justice Sec Chris Grayling ended any trials firm in the 'belief' (And nothing more than that) that he is right. Though he has absolutely no experience of this area of work.

Supercosy Tue 18-Feb-14 18:41:17

Thinkaboutittomorrow
I disagree with this It is about saying that however bad a crime it is possible to repent and transform into someone who would never repeat the crime.

I don't think it is about that really. I think it's about saying that there are some crimes that are so henious you don't deserve a second chance whether you repent or not. I also think that if the people who committed these truly dreadful crimes honestly did have a true sense of how absolutey appalling their crimes were they wouldn't even ask to be released. Myra Hindley being a case in point.

horseycoursey Tue 18-Feb-14 18:42:11

Yanbu. I'd lock all convicted murderers up for full life sentences as well as paedophiles. I wouldn't bother rehabilitating them at all, as what they've done is take someone else's life or abuse a child which is likely to leave the child scarred for life.

I couldn't live with my conscience if a paedophile/murderer were released andwent on to commit aanother crime. I know this view isn't popular with paedophile loving liberals but I make no apology for wanting to punish and prevent them from EVER having the opportunity to re offend.

perplexedpirate Tue 18-Feb-14 18:47:20

Horsey, your heinous comment about 'paedophile loving liberals' completely nullifies all you have to say.
Regardless of your politics, that is indefensible.
You should feel a deep shame.

ProfPlumSpeaking Tue 18-Feb-14 18:54:55

I agree with the very first post from itsallgoingtobefine:

"Have a look at the Norwegian prison system. Compare their sentences, their prisons, their reoffending rates with ours."

paedophile loving liberals
What offensive shite! angry

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Tue 18-Feb-14 19:08:03

I am sue this has been said but I just wish there was less discretion for judges and a more uniform penalty system, I know this would be hard to do but sometimes I see a sentence that is harsh for one crime then a less harsh sentence for a crime I see as less severe, and if sentenced to life why do some get out after a few years biut others are in for the full haul> there are some awful crimes for eg that match the Brady murders but they get out? it may be down to stuff we as public do not know but sometimes I wonder how some crimes get off 'lightly' whilst others get the book thrown at them... seems to be very little consistency which I fail to understand sad

UnderYourCommand Tue 18-Feb-14 19:11:30

Repeated studies show that when it comes to sentencing, the GBP are far more lenient in expressed views than the judiciary decisions when it comes to handing out prison sentences. Once details of cases are known, the public has a strong tendency to search for community-based sentences rather than locking someone up.

innisglas Tue 18-Feb-14 19:24:09

I'm afraid I haven't read all the comments, so I don't know if anyone has mentioned this here but I always understood that when you take the hope of ever being released away from prisoners, it gets extremely difficult to control their behaviour inside the prison.

Also saw WooWooOwl's disagreement with rehabilitation and think that is ridiculous, for society's sake we want the ones who are released into the community to be able to fit in and be valuable members of society, and for the sake of the convicts, well sometimes when you know the back story you realise they never did get a chance in life.

Dawndonnaagain Tue 18-Feb-14 19:29:16

Nice to see the flog 'em and hang 'em brigade out in force. hmm
I too agree with the first post:
"Have a look at the Norwegian prison system. Compare their sentences, their prisons, their reoffending rates with ours."

HadABadDay2014 Tue 18-Feb-14 19:32:05

I don't think murders should ever be released.

April jones was a little girl just playing out, holly and Jessica was two 12 year olds walking together, Sarah Payne was a 8 year old walking along a country road. These children suffered a horrific death in the hands of these monsters.

To me I think fuck it, you took that life so now you lose your freedom.

UnderYourCommand Tue 18-Feb-14 19:37:48

Those examples are nothing like representative of the profile of the murders in this country.
Further, the re-offending rate of released murderer/manslaughterers are infintessimally small. They are not a risk to the public (usually) in the future.

drnoitall Tue 18-Feb-14 19:43:17

Under
I think the point some people are making, is that they don't care about the reoffending rate, these evil bastards should not be released. Should not be released. Should not be released.

HadABadDay2014 Tue 18-Feb-14 19:45:54

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8388224/Up-to-2000-serious-offences-committed-by-reoffending-criminals-every-year.html

HadABadDay2014 Tue 18-Feb-14 19:46:05
UnderYourCommand Tue 18-Feb-14 19:46:14

yes I get that. Trouble is they are not 'evil bastards' (whatever that means) generally, and reactions are often just not well-thought ones. Just a self-comforting knee jerk.

UnderYourCommand Tue 18-Feb-14 19:47:56

that article doesn't look at re-offending rates of murderers, does it?

HadABadDay2014 Tue 18-Feb-14 19:49:03

The category includes murder, rape, child sex abuse, wounding and serious assaults.

HadABadDay2014 Tue 18-Feb-14 19:51:11

So up to 2000 people lives have been ruined or ended because the person responsible managed to convince a panel that they are safe to the public.

UnderYourCommand Tue 18-Feb-14 19:58:20

Yes but we aren't talking about that wider category are we?
Also, they wouldn't largely be parolees. They will be people released automatically as per their sentence. No panel involved at all.

Fairenuff Tue 18-Feb-14 20:01:49

Re-offending rates are irrelevant when talking about full life sentences.

The lowest rate possible is 0%.

Full life sentences are the only system that would guarantee 0% possibility of re-offending and should therefore be supported.

HadABadDay2014 Tue 18-Feb-14 20:04:03

Perhaps then you wouldn't mind these people living next door to you. Perhaps working in hospitals or nursing homes.

If you truly think murders and rapist can be fully rehabilitated, why not have them working with children or the vulnerable.

UnderYourCommand Tue 18-Feb-14 20:10:50

I didn't say anything about 'rehabilitation' Had - you seem to have made that up yourself?

HadABadDay2014 Tue 18-Feb-14 20:15:35

So back to the OP should life mean a whole life sentence for these serious crimes.

gordyslovesheep Tue 18-Feb-14 20:20:22

Fairenuff people can offend in prisons - your argument is wrong

Had plenty of people who have escaped conviction/detection already do all those jobs - I'd rather have a supervised ex offender.
although those with certain convictions would never be allowed to do those jobs

I would take each person as an individual case by case basis - which is what the parole board already do and what the EU are sort of suggesting

Handsoff7 Tue 18-Feb-14 20:22:33

YABU

If for nothing else than the fact that it'd be a big waste of money. It'd make the state spend £30k pa per person to keep a load of octogenarians locked up 50 years after they'd committed their crimes and when they'd be no further risk to anyone.

UnderYourCommand Tue 18-Feb-14 20:24:56

Maintaining people in prison til they die, across the board is just absurd.

songlark Tue 18-Feb-14 20:39:08

Duckworth........why is that so wrong? If they've committed a heinous crime surely they don't deserve any rights as human beings. Not so long ago they would have been hung. In my opinion they don't deserve any rights whatsoever. It amazes me that anyone should think different.

UnderYourCommand Tue 18-Feb-14 20:45:21

Erm...because they are still human beings, that doesn't stop does it? We've stopped legally killing people about 50 years ago. For good reasons.
songlark - you'll have to continue to being amazed at people who don't think like you.

Dawndonnaagain Tue 18-Feb-14 20:46:51

Removing someone's rights as a human being because they have abused or removed the rights of another, doesn't make it right. It is important that we show we are better than those that remove those rights in order for rehabilitation to have some hope of working. If you have committed a heinous crime, surely you have as much chance of rehabilition as somebody who has committed a lesser crime. The sign of a humane and decent society is one that looks after it's children, it's disabled and actually, it's criminals.

It amazes me that anyone should think different, it must be exhausting to be 'amazed' all the time. hmm

Dawndonnaagain Tue 18-Feb-14 20:48:37

And Oh my goodness, I am sorry about all those fucking apostrophes! I am shattered, my only excuse!

Terrible apostrophe abuse Dawndonna but you made perfect sense. I agree entirely. smile

Dawndonnaagain Tue 18-Feb-14 21:03:10

Thank you Sauvignon blush

drnoitall Tue 18-Feb-14 21:36:50

Hands off.
How do know "they would be no risk to any body"?
Dawn.
Your point is easy to understand from an intellectual pov but what about from a human pov? I have been affected by serious crime, the bastard reoffended, is a useless menace to society so being "better than those who offend" is actually useless, if they either
A) cannot / will not be rehabilitated and the justice system is of no deterrent
B) the crimes the commit are vile and hideously abhorant

I'm sorry if offending anyone but I'm actually finding it difficult to accept the bullshit...
Hate the crime not the person attitude.

WooWooOwl Tue 18-Feb-14 21:37:30

I'm not sure it does remove someone's human rights if they are locked up forever.

Human rights in my mind are things like food, shelter, protection from abuse, pain relief. I don't think that forcing someone to live a comfortable life, albeit restricted, takes away a humans fundamental rights.

If we are going to worry about people's human rights in the UK, we need to reconsider how we deal with people that live on the streets or who can't get medical treatment or care that they need. Then we can properly asses how we uphold human rights in this country for all the humans in it.

It is not worth risking there being dangerous criminals in society in the name of human rights if we don't give non criminals the basics.

joanofarchitrave Tue 18-Feb-14 21:43:33

Fair point WooWooOwl.

ReallyTired Tue 18-Feb-14 21:45:35

I believe that murderers or any other criminal are human beings and deserve full human rights. However with rights come responsiblities. Having human rights does not mean that someone escapes a punishment like a life time in jail. Human rights means a fair trial and sentencing. In rare circumstances life should mean life and there should be no hope of parole.

I certainly don't want all murderers put in prison with life meaning life. I feel that a life tariff should only be reserved for the most brutal and sadistic murders. I feel the present system where a judge decides the tariff is fair.

A man who finds his wife having sex with another man and strangles his wife in a fit of anger is in a different category to Ian Brady. I think that an 18 year old who commits murder in anger as a result of extreme provocation may well be fit for release under licence in twenty years time.

At the moment there are different recommended minimum tariffs for different circumstances. I see no reason to change the system.

unlucky83 Tue 18-Feb-14 21:59:39

Wasn't this first brought up by Gary Vinter - who served 10 yrs for murder and then when released within a couple of years had murdered someone else...
Sure his second victim's family were pleased that his first life sentence wasn't a whole of life sentence...although from the little I know of the case I don't think the first murder was due a whole of life sentence, seems it was not premeditated etc...but wonder how he got passed as fit to be released, especially because he had been back in prison for another violent assault prior to the second murder.
There has to be an argument for whole of life sentences - premeditated, serial killers who have confessed or face insurmountable amount of evidence against them. With no hope of release, not just from a likely to re-offend point of view but also from a punishment point of view. What kind of society would we live in if we absolved and effectively tolerated some of these offenses?
And what a waste of resources to perform a box ticking exercise - 'review' of these cases even every ten years...

Susyb30 Tue 18-Feb-14 22:05:34

I get so angry when people go on about some brutal sadistic murderer's " human rights" we'r talking about complete psychopaths here (brady, tobin to name a few) their human rights? What about their victims human rights. .their utter terror and pain in their last moments, then the families and loved ones pain for the rest of their lives. Those murderers do not have any rights and to say they should have a chance of rehabilitation? Thats bollocks. I would like to see the death penalty for such crimes..prison is too good for them.

Fairenuff Tue 18-Feb-14 22:11:25

Fairenuff people can offend in prisons - your argument is wrong

No, offences committed inside prison are not considered 're-offending' are they.

Re-offending is only recorded if it occurs outside of prison, after the offender has been released back into the community.

Oakmaiden Tue 18-Feb-14 22:12:20

"If you know someone who was a victim of a horrific crime then you would see things very very differently. You don't see them as being human. You see them being given rights yet the victim had no right to live. If you've experienced it then maybe you can understand why I feel this."

And I guess that is why family and friends of victims are not asked to make decisions about sentencing. ?It isn't about revenge - or even about punishment, really. It is about protecting the public and rehabilitation. Or at least it should be.

Although, in fact, there are not enough resources in prison to really rehabilitate effectively. So actually you are just sticking people into a melting pot of other criminals, and then looking all surprised when they come out and reoffend...

unlucky83 Tue 18-Feb-14 22:36:01

It isn't about revenge - or even about punishment, really. It is about protecting the public and rehabilitation. Or at least it should be.

Should it be though? Rather than punishment or revenge should it not be that in some cases someone has chosen to behave in a manner that takes them so totally outside what is acceptable for society they should no longer be allowed to remain within or return to society.
Is that not what law and justice is about? Maintaining a society with boundaries that we feel comfortable within.

Supercosy Tue 18-Feb-14 22:46:54

I'm don't disagree with you in general Dawndonnaagain but I do with some particuarly vile crimes. I consider myself extremely liberal but I wouldn't agree with the release of someone such as Myra Hindley (obviously not applicable now). This is mainly because I believe that there are a very few cases where people comit such vile acts that they do not deserve the chance to be released whether they repent or not. Do you really believe that even these people should be considered for release?

Supercosy Tue 18-Feb-14 22:54:22

WooWooOwl, your post reminded me of this. As a kindly prison officer told me when someone close to me was in prison for several months (not for a violent offence) "it's not that bad in here, she gets 3 meals a day, a telly and there's even a swimming pool".

ilovesooty Tue 18-Feb-14 22:57:09

As ReallyTired says, even cases of murder are relative in their seriousness. There are some criminals I never want to see released: Brady/Sutcliffe/West/Tobin etc. I don't want to see absolutely everyone who's ever killed locked up with the key thrown away though. I want to see the public kept safe from psychopaths and serial killers whose crimes indicate no hope of rehabilitation and who deserve the ultimate punishment.

Ilovexmastime Tue 18-Feb-14 22:59:00

I feel like I've left the 21st century and gone back to less enlightened times reading some of the comments on here... sub-human, born evil... it's like something from the old testament.

I don't think we need to change the way we do things at the moment. I think it works just fine and I certainly don't want us to go the way of the USA.

Supercosy Tue 18-Feb-14 23:00:10

Yes, that is basically it ilovesooty!

HadABadDay2014 Tue 18-Feb-14 23:08:39

A psychiatrist who assessed Roy Whiting after his 1st conviction said that he was likely to re-offend once he was released. He was charged with abducting and sexually assaulting an 8 year old girl. He was also forced to serve an extra 5 months in prison for refusing to go on to a sex offenders rehabilitation course.

If only this was listened to Sarah Payne would of been alive today.

Those who plan then murder someone should never be released. To me loss of freedom is that all I could wish for. It's not like I want them to be brutally attacked or tortured for their crimes, just the public safe from them.

I would say someone who was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving should never be able to have a driving licence.

sashh Wed 19-Feb-14 08:35:26

I'd much rather re-offending rates were kept down by whole life tariffs

Are you really that naive?

Have you heard the name Charles Bronson?

Being in prison does not stop you planning murder, attacking people and hostage taking.

I agree, life imprisonment should mean what is says on the tin.
I have never understood why they use such wording, when quite clearly life isn't what is served.

Supercosy Wed 19-Feb-14 09:09:11

Yes, why do they use that phrase?

Fairenuff Wed 19-Feb-14 10:55:23

I'd much rather re-offending rates were kept down by whole life tariffs

Are you really that naive?

Have you heard the name Charles Bronson?

Being in prison does not stop you planning murder, attacking people and hostage taking.

So, what are you saying then sashh, that he should have been released into the community?

Some people are dangerous wherever they are. At least keeping them in prison minimises the risk of harm to others, if it can't completely eradicate it.

Your example is even more of a reason to keep people like that away from the general public.

ReallyTired Wed 19-Feb-14 11:03:21

The problem that I have with whole life tariffs is that there is nothing to be gained for the average prisoner

a) to confess to the crime
b) be well behaved in jail.

I feel that the truely sadistic crimes need a different level of punishment to the average murder. Otherwise someone who kills a person in a fit of temper might as well murder the witnesses as well. (Even if the sole witness of a murder is 6 years old)

Life imprisonment means a life time on parole if the person is ever released. One little indiscretion in behaviour and they are sent back to prison.

The likes of Sucliffe, Tobin, Brady, Rosemary and Fred West, Myra Hindley are different to the average murderer. We hear about extreme criminals in the news as they are the exception to the rule. There are very few whole life sentences.

Cigarettesandsmirnoff Wed 19-Feb-14 11:11:06

Prison is a very expensive thing. Better to have good probation systems that monitor people within the community for life. That's what life means

Nope serial murderers, rapists people that cannot be rehabilitated do not need to be 'monitored' in the community. The community needs protecting from them. That's why they were given life. Regardless of cost.

Cigarettesandsmirnoff Wed 19-Feb-14 11:14:47

That one little discretion could be the murder or rape of some one else. How would the authorities explain that to the victims family's.

ReallyTired Wed 19-Feb-14 12:49:17

Prison is a very expensive thing. Better to have good probation systems that monitor people within the community for life. That's what life means

I don't think that cost should come into it. In the past sadistic murderers were given the death penalty. I don't think that a criminal should be given a soft sentence just to save money.

The probation service is there to montior people who have made a mistake and are unlikely to re offend. A brutal murder is far more than a mistake and the culpit deserves to rot in jail.

nennypops Wed 19-Feb-14 12:56:04

Re-offending would be 0% if they were in prison for life.

On the contrary, this increases the chances of reoffending. Put someone in a situation where he has no hope of release and it is impossible to impose any greater sentence on him, and what incentive does he have to obey the law? It puts prison staff into massive danger.

ElleBellyBeeblebrox Wed 19-Feb-14 13:08:21

There are some people currently serving whole life tariffs whose crimes were so abhorrent that they should never be allowed back into society. In my view, someone who is capable of crimes such as those of The Moors murderers (for example) are obviously deeply unhinged people, and all the rehabilitation in the world won't change the people that they are.

nennypops Wed 19-Feb-14 13:14:34

No, offences committed inside prison are not considered 're-offending' are they.

Of course they are! If a prisoner murders a prison officer, he will be charged with a new offence of murder and sentenced again.

nennypops Wed 19-Feb-14 13:20:48

I get very tired of people who come up with the question "What about the human rights of the victims?" as if that's the end of the argument. Society absolutely respects the human rights of the victims, that is why there is a massive structure in place to try to protect people as far as possible and to find and punish criminals. Unfortunately, however, there is nothing we can do to make a crime unhappen or bring a murdered person back to life. None of that means we should descend to the same levels as the criminals we are condemning.

My understanding of the review process in relation to people with whole life sentences is that such sentences do need to be kept under review precisely because of changes in public thinking and the possibility of new evidence, and also because we might want to consider release for someone who is, say, terminally ill. None of that means that such people will ever be released in anything other than the very rarest of circumstances, but it is wrong to close the door on review completely.

ReallyTired Wed 19-Feb-14 14:03:13

"Unfortunately, however, there is nothing we can do to make a crime unhappen or bring a murdered person back to life. None of that means we should descend to the same levels as the criminals we are condemning."

We do not descend to their level. Punishment is limited by the courts. If we had an eye for eye, a tooth for a tooth approach then these criminals would be slowly tortured to death just like their victims were.

A prisoner has three meals a day, shelter, medical care and prehaps access to exercise or entertainment if they are good. They are also free from torture. The only punishment they are enduring is the loss of their freedom. In fact the even the most serious offender enjoy a better existance than many people around the world or their victims.

I see no reason to release a terminally ill person who has commited a sadistic murder. The whole point of a whole life sentence is just that they die in prison. They don't get to complete their bucket list or see the world before they die. They have lost their freedom for ever as a PUNISHMENT!!

The only circumstances I can see for a sadistic murderer not dying in prison is if they need medical care that cannot provided in a prison hospital. I have no problem with the likes of Rosemary West or Tobin being taken out of prison to recieve Chemo or an operation if they needed it. I have no issue with such people being taken to an intensive care ward if they needed it.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Wed 19-Feb-14 16:53:54

I know I am not well informed but I do wish the 'punishment' fitted the crime and whatever the sentence it stuck. Why is what moors murderers did worse than what other killers of children have done? or any other killer for that matter. I can see the argument for crimes committed in anger rather than premeditated but still its taken someone's life. how are they rated? intent, degree of violence? number of victims? lack of remorse? I just hope I am never called for Jury service as I find it hard to see beyond the crime.

JanineStHubbins Wed 19-Feb-14 16:55:43

Thankfully for you (and everyone else), StepAway, juries have no discretion over sentencing. They simply return a verdict. Judges hand down sentences.

wispa31 Wed 19-Feb-14 17:55:22

Life should mean life. You commit crimes of that seriousness that requires life in prison uou do the fucking time and quit whingeing about human rights. Fuck off. You forfeited that when you did what you did. Sickens me all this bullshit about their rights being violated! Sentances are not harsh enough imo. They should be a deterrant, they are not.

nennypops Wed 19-Feb-14 18:17:33

But there is no sentence that is an absolute deterrent. As experience in the US demonstrates, even the death sentence isn't a deterrent. It's worth remembering that it was still in the force at the time most of the Moors murders were committed, and it didn't stop Brady and Hindley for one moment.

nennypops Wed 19-Feb-14 18:29:17

The idea that prisons are comfortable and easy is a bit of a myth. It is reasonably correct in relation to the lowest category prisons for low risk prisons, but not the others. In the high categories, prisoners are sharing cells with one or two others and an open toilet, they can be locked up for hours every day, they have little or no choice in terms of what they eat, they have no choice as to what they wear, their cells and bodies are subject to search at any time without notice, they see their familes only rarely and have very limited chances to phone them, their food may well have been spat or urinated in, they have to shower in public, they can be made to do very unpleasant and uncomfortable work, and if someone doesn't like them they will be in serious danger all day every day. You can incur another prisoner's dislike for something utterly trivial, and can also get into serious trouble if you refuse to do things like helping with drug smuggling. Far from the the popular myth of prisoners having Sky and X-boxes, most are lucky if they have a TV with the basic terrestrial channels, and will have little or no choice about what they watch: the reality is that prisons want them to have TVs because it is a reasonably easy way of keeping them under control and stopping them from getting bored and therefore potentially dangerous. It is apparently very difficult to sleep at night because of all the prisoners calling out of their windows and banging on the pipework.

Friends who have had cause to go into institutions like Broadmoor tell me that they are utterly horrible - most of the disadvantages above coupled with the fact that you are associating all day every day with seriously ill and disturbed people.

I'm absolutely not saying that anyone should feel sorry for prisoners, but I get very tired of the tabloid myth about prisons being like 5 star hotels. When I'm dictator, any journo that perpetuates that one will automatically be sentenced to three months in Belmarsh and will be required to proclaim publicly at the end of that time whether he still thinks it's a luxury hotel.

ReallyTired Wed 19-Feb-14 19:05:11

nennypops

If you choose to do the crime then you should be prepared to do the time.

Prison is not designed to be a pleasent experience. However a young victim had no say in being horribly murdered. Jessica Wells and Holly chapman had no say in their treatment. Compared with the Rosemary West or Tobin's victims prisoners live in a 5 star hotel. Prisoners certainly enjoy a better standard of living than much of the third world.

AngelaDaviesHair Wed 19-Feb-14 19:51:12

Thank you for those brilliant posts, nennypops.

JockTamsonsBairns Wed 19-Feb-14 21:15:25

Angela, I agree - thank goodness for posters like nennypops and sauvignon as I usually despair of threads like these.

At the risk of lighting the touch fire, there's a couple of points to add. Earlier up thread, some posters talk of people being "born evil". Are we really saying that there are newborn babies in our midst who have "evil" in their beings? Or is it more likely that there are external and environmental factors at play? Sorry, no peer reviewed research findings at my fingertips - but I'm struggling to come up with any names of horrific serial killers who have come from naice supportive middle class functional families. Happy to be corrected on this if anyone else can.

Also, I'm wondering about the mindset of these horrific murderers. Ordinary people, lets say the proverbial " you and I", cannot comprehend carrying out these acts of torture. Perhaps I could tentatively suggest an element of mental illness, or SN, could be present in those people who can and do carry out such heinous crimes? I'm rubbish at linking, but I'm sure there must be figures out there somewhere regarding prison population who have such diagnoses. Just a thought.

Cigarettesandsmirnoff Wed 19-Feb-14 21:40:38

jock I don't think anybody is born evil.

But there is the age old debate, nature over nurture which in all this time nobody has really got to the bottom of.

I do believe some people have traits that make it more acceptable to them to take part in heinous crimes.

More prisoners than we probably can even imagine May have some form of SN. What we have to be careful is that doesn't become the basis of an excuse.

I once read some where that children form the sense of what's right and wrong at the age of seven. You and I have a sense of what's right and wrong. If you get to be an adult and still don't have that sense and commit terrible crimes, you have to be taken off the streets to protect the public.

Some people do rehabilitate.
Some people wont and those people will have a team of professionals ensuring, or should be, that they stay off our streets away from our vulnerable.

Your right some may even have mental illness, arsonists, phycopaths, with all your good will these people can't be saved. So we have to protect the pubic.

Cigarettesandsmirnoff Wed 19-Feb-14 21:47:12

nenny just to add! my dd1 father was in prison from a boys prison in and out sporadically he was 30. He spent 10 Xmas behind bars.

I visited a fair few.

In a rather lush open prison , the used to throw beer over the wall so the inmates could get pissed.

They would have a macdonalds with them when they came back from weekend home visit .

In a normal cat b ( I thnk)
He always had a Nintendo, TV,had a job. Had money fir tuck.

Did three levels in gym trainer

Got his teeth fixed

Did a yearly Christmas show

It was piss.

Cigarettesandsmirnoff Wed 19-Feb-14 21:49:41

Also did anger management and went in a fucking course about women with PMT! shock

jamtoast12 Wed 19-Feb-14 21:50:26

My partner has worked in prisons for 15 years and can tell you truthfully, they are definitely easy, many don't care about returning as its so easy for them. He says they are exactly like described in media with sky, xbox and mobiles are rife...these are high category too. Its a holiday camp compared to what you may think.

ReallyTired Wed 19-Feb-14 21:53:42

I suspect that a lot of people in jail have suffered appauling abuse as children, been in care, can't read and basically no one cared a damn about them as they grew up. I am sure that there are lots of prisoners with ADHD, dyslexia, autism as well as other learning difficulties. Many prisoners are people who commit GBH or manlaughter while experiencing red mist and being incredibly drunk.

However this thread is about people who have been given a whole life sentence. These people make up a tiny percentage of the prison population. There are a tiny group of murderers who were cold and calculating. Their actions were planned and were not simply a mistake.
There are some actions where special needs or a person's background are not an excuse.

It would be really interesting to have the opinon of whole lifers on whether other whole lifers should have a review of their sentence after ten years. I suspect the prison population would be very hard on people who murder or rape children.

Fairenuff Fri 21-Feb-14 18:39:24
IdRatherPlayHereWithAllTheMadM Fri 21-Feb-14 19:30:31

public funds are limited, i cant bear the thought of april jones killer, and all the others using up public funds for their human rights, when they have taken a life, and destroyed those lives of the person taken...i think the money would go to better victim support.

CaptainSinker Sat 22-Feb-14 10:39:15

Wandered onto this thread.
Realised I fell down an internet wormhole to the Daily Mail comments board.

Itsallinyourheaddear Tue 25-Mar-14 21:13:42

Off you trot then, if that's all you think of the opinions of victims of crime.

OlympiaFox Tue 25-Mar-14 23:01:55

When the death penalty was banned, there were promises that murderers and the like would never be released. Just because the ultimate punishment was being banned didn't mean that the seriousness which vile crimes were treated would be lessened by weak sentencing.

Of course, everywhere the death penalty was banned saw murder, rape, gbh, being treated with far less severity than before because the goal posts changed. Life has become much cheaper. I don't like the idea of the state having the right to kill people because of the potential of occasionally getting it wrong but I like pro criminal attitudes even less.

The state has a responsibility to protect the victims, to protect the rest of society from becoming victims, the whole point of the criminal justice system is to make society as safe as possible from violence and disruption. There is no freedom if you can't even walk down the street safely.

When criminal rights are put to the top of the agenda, when the rights of murderers, rapists, gang members, come before the rights of the victims and their families not to have to pass them on the street and future victims and their families not to be raped, murdered, terrorised, lose family members to them, there is no justice.

Some crimes are so horrendous that the perpetrators should never be released regardless of claims of change, a genuinely remorseful, changed person would be tortured by the horrors they committed and not want to unleash more pain onto their victims by demanding release. Most of these people are incapable of rehabilitation, nobody with a shred of humanity would be capable of raping and murdering a child or adult, beating an innocent person into brain damage for 'fun', participating in a violent gang rape and they should be recognised as the evil scum they are and treated as such.

Those who take perverse pleasure in trying to justify and excuse their actions, demeaning the importance of the damage inflicted on their victims are just as evil as they are. They wouldn't be so understanding and sympathetic toward the thugs if they were the victim but they don't believe they'll ever be the victim so they don't care.

The law should not be determined by people who don't care for the rights of innocent people. Society is made up by all of the people and the majority should get to decide what type of society they'd like to live in. Most of us would prefer to live in one that protects innocents and keeps scum off the streets for as long as necessary.

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