Life in jail not anti-human rights: high court

A sentence of life in jail is not anti-human rights because there is still a real chance of release, the high court ruled on Tuesday.

The case was brought by convicted murderer Frank B, whose lawyer argues that a life sentence conflicts with the European treaty on human rights. This is because B has no perspective of ever being released, the lawyer was quoted as saying in Trouw.
But the high court said a review is not necessary because the Netherlands accepts the principle of clemency, which means human rights treaty requirements.
Even though the last person sentenced to life in jail was reprieved in 1986, it remained an option, the court said.
n total 25 people have been sentenced to life imprisonment since 2000, compared with just 15 in the 50 previous years. The term ‘life’ was introduced in 1870 after the death penalty was abolished.
A number of prominent Dutch lawyers are also campaigning for a regular review of life sentences.
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