When Does Life Mean Life?


Ms. Malone
Hearing about the man who was released after DNA tests proved he did not commit a murder (see below), i was wonder what makes a life sentance? Does it actually mean life or just until someone is mentally sound or proven innocent by DNA testing?


If this man hadn't demanded a DNA test he would have died in prison, and yet another prison is willing to let out the Yorkshire Ripper because he is apparently mentally sound and no threat to women or the community.

Both men were sentanced to life, one commited several murders and another lied about commiting one and then was found innocent years later; why is one more leniant than the other? Why were they willing to let out a serial killer and not a man who pleaded his innocence?


/ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5
I asked the same question about pleas in the other thread. Bananas reply about showing remorse may indeed play a role in determining who gets parole.

"If you protest your innocence you can not repent the crime you have been convicted of. The parole board is not there to determine your innocence but to judge you on your repentance for the crime you have been found guilty of. - Bananas "
The catch there is, the guilty ones probably know this and if they can't get away, then pleading guilty will just make it better for them in the long run. The innocent ones aren't thinking that they will be convicted because they are innocent (see that trust that the innocents can't be jailed, haha) so naturally they plead not guilty. But the system somehow failed them and they end up in jail, with lesser chance of having parole.


Endangered Species
why is one more leniant than the other? Why were they willing to let out a serial killer and not a man who pleaded his innocence?
I thinks its to do with repenting and showing remorse for your crime. These people have been found guilty of their crimes. they are murderers; one murder puts his hands up and goes "yes what I did was wrong and a grave error that I regret", the other murder continually pleads his innocence, only one of those is showing any remorse the other is in denial.

At the end of the day they have been in court, had evidence put against them before a jury/judge and been convicted of a crime and are being punished by incarceration for that crime. They are therefore guilty, if they were not guilty they should not been in that predicament. We make judgement in the courtroom, if someone is innocent they walk free, if they are guilty they go to jail. We (society) as a rule DO NOT put innocent men in prison. It is regrettable that sometimes the system fails.(In this scenario that the guy was stupid enough to lie about commiting a murder).


As for the issue of releasing prisoners;

If you realise what you did was wrong on such a level that you will never repeat such an action they will give you a life license, which is basically if you so much as sneeze in the wrong direction they will haul your arse back into prison without any need to actually convict you of any thing else.

Its hard to describe, I suppose people change. Most of these criminals committed their crimes 20-30 years ago, a lot happens in that time. We mature and progress, in someways we are different people given time. They have been institutionalised to a point where incarceration is nolonger a fit punishment, all you end up doing is punish an old man for a young mans crimes.


I dont think Sutcliffe will ever be released. He is too notorious and he would probably be attacked or murdered within days of being freed. If he is ever elligible I imagine they will drag it out for as long as possible, with appeals, and lawsuits and hope that he dies in the process.