Life with No Chance of Parole Backed by Judges

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Written By Mahmoud Sarvari

Life with No Chance of Parole Backed by JudgesThe UK courts have been allowed for years to sentence criminals to life in prison with no chance of parole.

However, due to a request from the European Court of Human Rights, the British Court of Appeal was forced to review this policy.

The ECHR believe that life sentences violate human rights and are unlawful as there is no chance for parole or review of the case.

In addition, Prime Minister David Cameron, in addition to many UK politicians revolted against this claim and some even criticised the ECHR.

This is the most severe sentence that a judge can hand down to a criminal in the UK and is only used to punish brutal criminals. Currently, there are only 50 prisoners in Britain that have been ordered to spend the rest of their lives in prison the majority of whom were charged for some form of premeditated murder.

In order to put the issue to rest, the British Court of Appeal gathered five judges and they have ruled that life sentences will continue to be handed out for the most serious crimes as upon investigation, it was found that appeals are allowed even to criminals sentenced to life.

The judges found that the ECHR had misinterpreted the UK law thus leading them to the conclusion that prisoners sentenced to life had no chance of parole.

According to the investigation UK law does permit “possible exceptional release of whole life prisoners”.

Lord Thomas of the Court of Appeal said, “Judges should therefore continue as they have done to impose whole life orders in the rare and exceptional circumstances that fall within the statutory scheme.”

In response, the public, in addition to Members of Parliament were pleased with the ruling. Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, said, “This is a timely and welcome decision. Our courts should be able to send the most brutal murderers to jail for the rest of their lives. I think people in Britain will be glad that our courts have disagreed with the European Court of Human Rights, and upheld the law that the UK Parliament has passed.”

However, even though in this instance it became apparent that the judges at the ECHR had been mistaken, it is a worry that situations such as this will arise in the future.

While British judges may refute the EHCR, and in this case won the argument, they cannot override them and must continue to obey the European human rights legislation.