Not many people know this but a few years ago I went to Nottingham Prison.
I went for the day – as part of programme which let prisoners ‘adjust’ after a long period of being “banged up”. It was eye opening!
I came away with a very different view of such people. I know I was only allowed near a few chosen inmates – these were not Anthony Hopkins characters. The ones I met, it seemed to me, had probably been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or had been at the wrong end of complex love triangles. Or simply drunk. They were lifers.
Last week was story though which deserves attention! A triple murderer has challenged the “life means life” following a bonkers decision in the European Court of Human Rights. They have determined that some tariffs which force convicted murderers to die in Jail are “inhuman and degrading”.
The man bringing this case? Arthur Hutchinson – convicted of – 1. breaking into someones home. 2. Stabbing the couple who lived there to death (on the eve of their daughters wedding). 3. Killing one of their sons. 4. Raping another wedding guest.
Whilst I can have some sympathy with the drunken fight that went horribly wrong (and the inmates I spoke to accepted their crime and punishment) – am I alone in wondering just what this Court in Strasbourg are thinking?
They have certainly lost sight, in Arthur Hutchinson’s case, of the Human Rights he lost when he destroyed at least four peoples lives. In some cases – life needs to mean life. After all “Life” was introduced to appease the British Public when the Death Penalty was abolished…
I cannot imagine on what ground this man can ever be let out of prison.