Guaranteeing the Rights of Persons Sentenced to Life Imprisonment: Normative Framework and Objective Realities
Keywords:life imprisonment; ECtHR jurisprudence; human rights; convicts’ rights; enforcement law
Life imprisonment is a criminal punishment, which consists in depriving the convict of his freedom for the rest of his life. In accordance with the provisions of the criminal law, this type of punishment is established only for exceptionally serious crimes. The national enforcement law, in many aspects, treats persons sentenced to prison and persons sentenced to life imprisonment distinctly, this category of punishment being much more restrictive. It is important to mention that the principle of humanism and the principle of the equality of convicts are enshrined among the principles of criminal execution legislation. Thus, in the context in which both prison and life imprisonment consist of deprivation of liberty, there would be no grounds to impose distinct behaviors on the two categories of convicts, especially when we refer to their fundamental rights. The role of criminal punishment is not to create suffering for people, regardless of the type of crime committed. Thus, the restrictions to which the person is subject must be proportional to the seriousness of the facts, in order to correct the offender’s behavior.
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