In the Media

Are whole-life prison sentences an infringement of human rights?

PUBLISHED December 5, 2012
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Douglas Vinter would never claim to be a good man. Far from it. And his criminal record backs that up. He was given a life sentence for murdering a fellow worker, released on licence after 10 years and then given a whole-life sentence after killing his wife. It doesn't get much worse than that. He knows he has done terrible things and understands that he should serve a long time in prison. What he doesn't accept is being locked up till he dies, irrespective of his behaviour. "I'm young and fit and I've maybe got another 50 years of life as a category A prisoner left. Torture every single day. I actually pray for a heart attack or cancer," he said in a letter written to the Guardian a couple of years ago.

© Guardian News & Media Ltd

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