Friday 9 December 2016

Life sentence has no positive effect

Published 22/06/2010 | 05:00

Ireland is one of the few countries in Europe that retains a mandatory life sentence for murder, which results in the outlandish scenario that a person who kills his wife in the heat of an argument is given the exact same sentence as a cold-blooded crime boss who spends several days carefully calculating the torturous killing of his next victim.

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A life sentence in Ireland is also an empty promise to victims, given that, in reality, a convicted murderer will spend on average about 17 years behind bars.

Additionally, life sentences dehumanise prisoners by forcing them to spend the rest of their lives either as prisoners or parolees, in which case their ability to rehabilitate and turn their lives around is flushed down the garbage disposal.

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