Life Sentence – needs a full stop

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Mick+Philpott+with+Mairead+Philpott

I’m no expert at law, but is it right that a fire deliberately set and kills six innocent children only incurs a minimum 15 year sentence for its main perpetrator?

Mick Philpott has been jailed for life with no release until he is at least 71 years old, and his two accomplices will serve at least half of their seventeen year sentences. For the selfish and pointless manslaughter of six children it doesn’t feel like enough. Should life mean life rather than the current situation where good behaviour and early release is involved?

Yes it was an accident, but he planned to leave the kids in there when he set fire to the building. This is not me advocating he return of the death penalty because the cost and issues surrounding such a policy is too difficult to ensure it is 100% accurate often enough. Philpott should never again be allowed to walk the streets as a free man because his actions caused death beyond our imaginations.

We sit in the same country as Rose West, Ian Brady, Ian Huntley locked behind bars and we know there is little chance of any of them ever being released – and that seems fair. Comparing callous murders to Philpott’s “Accident” may seem unfair but the principle is the same for me; if you are given a life sentence you should be imprisoned for life. Yes we’d have populations of jails increase but if we knew that they were in forever we could build jails specifically for that purpose.

Every time the courts rule on these types of cases it seems like they have not been punished enough for their actions, but then we’d probably feel like that anyway regardless of the length of the punishment handed out. Our sense of anger and injustice makes us human in the face of such evil and unthinkable actions. I would like a straight forward system of sentencing though – rather than giving out a sentence with a minimum release those found guilty should just be given the sentence and have to serve it all. For me no amount of good behaviour, repentance for their actions, or ‘change’ in them is enough to warrant a reduction in these such cases.

JD

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