Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Appeal Court proves its mettle

I can only applaud the decision by the five-judge panel of the Court of Appeal to uphold the right of British judges to pass whole-life sentences without these being subject to subsequent review. We have our own review process - its called appealing. We don't need an ECHR imposed additional stage; our process is whole and entire.

The issue of wrongful convictions isn't relevant here. The ECHR were not suggesting that prisoners may be released on review because there were doubts over their conviction. They have an idealogical opposition to whole-life sentences and are seeking to lever-in ways of shortening these on the basis of 'C'mon, hasn't he been punished enough now?". 

The judge hearing the case remains the best person to judge the heinousness of the offence of a person convicted of murder. It is right that we allow them to pass whole-life sentences, subject to appeal. 

There are those in the UK who think that we should have a compulsory review of whole life sentences, and that's fine - everyone is entitled to an opinion. If they want to work to achieve this, they should lobby MPs and Peers to change the law, and not rely on the interference of an alien and inexpert tribunal. 

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