So, Ian Huntley has at last been sentenced. It has only taken 2 years but hey, justice (if you can call it that) is slow. And what has he been sentenced to?
Well, that’s where things start to look bloody silly. He has been handed 2 life sentences. You would think that would mean he’d die in jail, wouldn’t you. He certainly deserves to for murdering 2 young girls. And there is nothing you can call it but murder! But wait, it’s not that clear cut in the British justice system, is it? No, of course not.
In this case, 2 life sentences means he will be eligible for release in 40 years. Okay, so he’ll be 70 or thereabouts but he’ll still be alive when he is released. To me, this is not even 1 life sentence, let alone 2. It also is one of the things that leads me to believe that the law is not only an ass but a complete arse!
It is high time they either made a life sentence a life sentence – that is life behind bars with no possibility of release. Otherwise, they have to stop using the term life sentence when sending someone to jail for 20 years, or 15 or 10. Yes, in some circumstances in this noble land, 10 years amounts to a life sentence.
This is where the public’s confusion arises. We all hear “life sentence” and think it means just that. If we were told that so and so had been found guilty of murder where there are some mitigating circumstances (an accident, as retaliation for years of abuse, in the heat of the moment), we are capable of understanding that and realising that the 15 year sentence (or whatever) is justified. But if we’re told that this same person is being given a life sentence but will be released in 15 years, we wonder what the hell is going on. And we also wonder how that can possibly be right when the family of the victim are handed a life sentence of their own, being bereft of their loved one and waking every day to face their loss all over again.
Getting back to the Soham case, Ian Huntley murdered these 2 girls and despite what the judge in the case has said about the lack of premeditation and sexual conduct (see this article on the BBC News web site) in this case I feel the law is wrong. It appears that Ian Huntley has a prior history which speaks of untoward sexual behaviour. Also, whilst premeditation was not proven in this case, it seems clear that he saw an opportunity and wasted no time exploiting it. And, though abduction was also not proven, it would appear that he lured the girls into his house with the intent of…well, let’s not explore the nature of his intent; that seems like abduction to me – I don’t think he had any intention of releasing them, does anyone else?
So, bottom line. A man commits a ghastly crime. Deprives 2 families of their cherished daughters. Lies publicly to avoid apprehension. Is reported as having a history of criminal behaviour that is sexual in nature. And shows no remorse whatsoever! I think that is a man who should spend the rest of his days behind bars and should die in prison. And there is nothing anyone, not even a learned judge, can say that will make me think otherwise. It is high time that this society started to value the victim and their family more highly by being utterly ruthless when dealing with the likes of Huntley. I for one would be happy to see him hang for what he has done. That is the message we need to send to the creatures in our society that would commit such crimes. Perhaps then, fewer tragedies such as this will unfold!