Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Indeterminate prison sentences come home to roost

Our previous Labour government had no qualms about knocking away the fundamental pillars of justice if it suited them. Right to silence, double jeopardy, fixed term prison sentences: all got shot in the knees (and let's not forget "executive detention" where people get locked up, albeit in their own homes, just because the government says so.)

Now one of these has turned and bitten them. IPP (open-ended Imprisonment for the Public's Protection) has been ruled unlawful by the European Court of Human Rights and compensation is to be paid.

To the credit of the current government they banned IPPs as soon as they came to power, but we have a legacy of 6,000 people in jail sentenced to serve an open-ended term, basically until they pass a course in public safety. Already 3,500 are over their minimum term and places on the course are very limited.

Already two such prisoners have been granted thousands of pounds compensation, and thousands of others will be toiling over their claims right now. Thanks, Labour!

Oh, and Labour are now 15% ahead in the polls.

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