Harlow MEP welcomes ruling on “whole-life” sentences

Politics / Thu 20th Feb 2014 at 09:50am

HARLOW Euro MP, Richard Howitt, who is also a spokesperson on the European Parliament’s Human Rights Committee has welcomed today’s UK Court of Appeal judgement confirming the life sentence against Essex murderer Jeremy Bamber as showing that both justice and human rights can be upheld together.

Convicted Essex murderer Jeremy Bamber is serving a whole-life term for the 1985 killings of five relatives at a remote Essex farmhouse.

Reacting to the Court of Appeal decision to uphold judges’ rights to jail the most serious offenders in England and Wales for the rest of their lives and Labour’s Euro MP Richard Howitt MEP said,

“Jeremy Bamber committed a heinous crime and is one of only 50 prisoners serving a life-term in Britain today, and many people will say it is the right decision to uphold the UK courts’ right to impose such a sentence.

“I made clear at the time that the original European Court judgement did not question the use of life sentences, but the need to include the possibility of review.

“What today’s judgment shows is that the ability of a prisoner to appeal to the Secretary of State constitutes such a review, and the essence of the argument was simply whether the review be undertaken by a politician or by a judge.

“Those who simply sought to mis-use this issue to bash Europe show disrespect to the family of the victim in the case of a horrible murder.

“Instead the decision brings legal clarity and shows that it is possible to uphold principles of both justice and of human rights.”

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