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European Court Rules Life Sentences Violate Human Rights


The ruling must now be considered by the U.K. government, which in 2003 abolished a provision allowing prisoners' life sentences to be reviewed after 25 years.

The ruling must now be considered by the U.K. government, which in 2003 abolished a provision allowing prisoners' life sentences to be reviewed after 25 years.

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that sentencing convicted criminals to life in prison without possibility of release is a violation of their human rights.

Sixteen out of a panel of 17 judges at the Strasbourg-based court ruled that prisoners must be given a possibility of release and an opportunity to have their sentences reviewed.

The panel was considering a case filed by three British men serving life sentences for murder, including Jeremy Bamber, who was convicted of killing five members of his own family in 1985.

The ruling must now be considered by the U.K. government, which in 2003 abolished a provision allowing prisoners' life sentences to be reviewed after 25 years.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said he "profoundly disagrees" with the Strasbourg ruling.

Based on reporting by AFP, dpa, and BBC
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