Three British nationals, who are all currently serving life sentences for murder, have filed an application to the highest court of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) arguing that their life sentences are in violation of Article 3 of the Declaration. Article 3 stands for the prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment. The applicants argue that their sentences are inhuman and degrading because they have no hope for release. All three were sentenced to whole life orders, which means that they cannot be released except by the Secretary of State who may grant their release on compassionate grounds.
These three applicants are Douglas Vinter, Jeremy Neville Bamber and Peter Moore. Vinter was convicted in 2008 after stabbing his wife while on parole for committing a different murder. Bamber was convicted after shooting and killing his adoptive parents, sister and two other children. Moore was convicted after stabbing four men to death.
This case was already heard by a lower court in the ECtHR last year and it found no violation of Article 3. The lower court found that a fair trial was held for all the applicants and that their sentences were not disproportionate to the crimes they committed. The Grand Chamber will deliver a judgment on July 9, 2013.
I am not going to lie, I had a WTF moment after reading this case. It seems that these British prisoners have become a little delusional in prison. Their life sentences are inhuman?! Did they forget about the gruesome murders they committed? Or the people whose lives they cut short? I am shocked that this case was even heard by one of the Chamber courts and now will be heard by the Grand Chamber. In my opinion, it seems like the Court should be spending its time on other cases instead of these three murderers complaining that life in prison is too cruel. They are lucky to be alive.
Photo Source: The Firm Magazine