Is Life Imprisonment for heinous criminals a breach of Human Rights?

Life imprisonment was never believed to harm the human rights of a criminal with the charges of heinous crimes. In the past days, it was believed that the criminal who cannot value others life, should not enjoy the human rights. However, time has changed now and it has been decided that the maximum sentence for a criminal can be a lifer instead of a life imprisonment. In recent days, the human rights activists have become pretty aware of the fact that the sentence of a crime should never be the same crime happening to the criminal as it does not let the mentality of the criminal change, rather it makes the criminal more violent.

Human life needs to be given more respect in every civilized country. So the convicted criminal should get punishment but not life imprisonment that will ruin his life completely along with the lives of the family members. The suffering of the criminal will be the way similar to the affected of the crime and that does not make sense to the punishment.


The article 3 advocates the life imprisonment as a matter of juridical discretion as to the appropriate level of punishment and deterrence following conviction for a crime of utmost seriousness does not constitute “inhuman or degrading punishment”. However, many of the juridical bodies support life sentence and many condemn.


The life sentences without parole violated of the European Convention of Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman and degrading treatment. Spending the life till death in a jail is of course inhumane and it should not be practiced. According to many juridical judges, the life sentence needs to be flexible enough providing a chance of release and review at any point of time. England and Wales provide an opportunity to the convicted to apply a review petition against the life sentence within six months of getting it.

The court opines that the life sentence would never let the criminal atone the offenses. The court also added that the finding of a violation in the applicants’ cases should not be understood as giving them any prospect of imminent release. Whether or not they should be released would depend, for example, on whether there were still legitimate penological grounds for their continued detention and whether they should continue to be detained on grounds of dangerousness.

In the recent court process, the convicted awarded with a life sentence is not eligible to apply for parole can only be released on compassionate grounds.

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