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Justitiële verkenningen

Meer op het gebied van Criminologie en veiligheid

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Aflevering 2, 2013 Alle samenvattingen uitklappen
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Artikel

De levenslange vrijheidsstraf internationaal vergeleken

Trefwoorden life sentences, whole life imprisonment, human rights, European Court of Human Rights, release prospect
Auteurs D. van Zyl Smit
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Life imprisonment is difficult to define. Sentences that are not called life imprisonment may also be indefinite sentences of detention which may result in the detention of offenders in prison until they die there. Even where a sentence is called ‘life imprisonment’ it may be difficult to ascertain for how long the offender will actually be held and what criteria will be applied to considering his eventual release. This paper sketches some recent developments in respect of indeterminate sentences that are not called life imprisonment, even though they amount to it in practice. It then turns to the question of life sentences that are imposed without provision for any fixed period after which they should be reconsidered. Questions are raised about the extent to which such sentences are acceptable in Europe, the United States and elsewhere, particularly in instances where at sentence there is an indication that the offenders may not be considered for release at all. It is argued that human rights law is moving towards requiring that all persons sentenced to life imprisonment should have a reasonable prospect of release. Given the widespread support for life imprisonment this paper seeks to raise some human rights concerns that arise with the use of this sentence. The concerns are essentially twofold. First, the sentence may be imposed in instances where it would be disproportionate punishment to do so. Secondly, the procedures for its implementation, in particular those that relate to the potential release of persons serving life sentences, may not be adequate to meet the requirement of a realistic prospect of release.


D. van Zyl Smit
Prof. Dirk van Zyl Smit is als hoogleraar vergelijkend internationaal en penitentiair recht verbonden aan de University of Nottingham.
Artikel

Levenslange gevangenisstraf: uitlevering en overlevering aan Nederland

Trefwoorden life imprisonment the Netherlands, extradition, surrender, human rights, European Court of Human Rights
Auteurs V.H. Glerum
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In principle a Dutch life sentence is served in full. ‘Lifers’ can benefit from executive clemency. However, over the last 26 years clemency has been applied so sparingly as to call into question whether clemency for ‘lifers’ is a real possibility at all. Recently the European Court of Human Rights has refined its case-law on the compatibility of life sentences with Art. 3 ECHR, in the national context as well as in the context of extradition. This contribution discusses whether under Article 3 ECHR the Dutch practice of executing life sentences in full acts as a bar to extradition or surrender of a person who faces the imposition and/or execution of a life sentence in the Netherlands.


V.H. Glerum
Mr. dr. Vincent Glerum is senior juridisch medewerker van de Internationale Rechtshulpkamer van de Rechtbank Amsterdam.
Artikel

Het advies van de rechter in de gratieprocedure levenslanggestraften

Trefwoorden life imprisonment the Netherlands, history of life imprisonment, pardon procedure, judicial advisement, pardon cases
Auteurs D.J.G.J. Cornelissen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article provides an overview of the development of the prerogative of mercy. From the outset, the king (now: the Crown) is empowered with this prerogative and the judiciary is appointed as an advisory institution. The author focused on this judicial advisement in the procedure of pardon. First the different competent advisory courts are outlined. Initially, the highest court of justice was the only competent advisory body. For practical reasons the task was eventually shifted to the judge who imposed the sentence. Secondly, the impact and meaning of the advice are valued by researching sixteen pardon cases. In approximately half of the cases the judicial advisement was acknowledged by the Crown. In six of the sixteen studied pardon cases the Crown deviated from the judicial advisement in favour of the convict. According to the author, these deviations are in line with the policy of pardon of the last century.


D.J.G.J. Cornelissen
Mr. Daan Cornelissen is senior secretaris bij het Ressortsparket, vestiging Arnhem-Leeuwarden, locatie Leeuwarden.
Artikel

Het aanzien van de Staat

Over de praktijk van tenuitvoerlegging van de levenslange straf

Trefwoorden life imprisonment the Netherlands, effects of life imprisonment, reintegration, pardon policy, pardon cases
Auteurs W.F. van Hattum
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In 1870 in the Netherlands the death penalty was replaced by the sanction nearest to that effect: lifelong imprisonment. For the government though this penalty was acceptable only in connection with the possibility of mercy. The sanction was to be executed humanely and should not result in torture. The way the sanction was executed since, the administration developed a policy of mercy taking into account the devastating effects of the sanction. This policy resulted in mental care for the convicted and his release after approximately twenty years imprisonment. More than hundred years later, about 2004, the policy of mercy changed. Since then, according to the responsible ministers, life imprisonment should end by the onset of death. In this article the practice under the old and the new policy is illustrated by a case study. The conclusion is that like the death penalty lifelong imprisonment corrodes the prestige of the State.


W.F. van Hattum
Mr. dr. Wiene van Hattum is universitair docent bij de Vakgroep Strafrecht en Criminologie van de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen en voorzitter van het in 2008 opgerichte Forum Levenslang.
Artikel

‘Levenslang’: schadebeperking door levenslange gevangenisstraffen

Trefwoorden life imprisonment United States, prison culture, benefits of prison life, sociolinguistics, protection of society
Auteurs M.S. Fleisher
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This essay examines imprisoned felons’ perspectives and interpretations of ‘doing life’. Prisoners’ and ex-prisoners’ perspectives on the pros and cons of life imprisonment were documented over four decades of ethnographic research in prisons and on urban streets. The author’s research was conducted as a participant observer of street criminals and observing participant in federal prisons. Interviews with violent convicted felons in state and federal prisons and persistent criminals with histories of imprisonment reveal what it means to ‘do time’. Prisoners’ enculturation accommodates their adjustment to prison life and ability to negotiate daily prison life, but prison culture’s and prison programs’ inability to alter the nature of violent criminals pose a continuous threat to the population at large. Life imprisonment benefits prisoners’ physical and social health and protects communities by keeping violent criminals imprisoned.


M.S. Fleisher
Dr. Mark Fleisher is als research professor verbonden aan het Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education van de Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
Artikel

Naar een compensatoir regime voor levenslang- en zeer langgestraften

Trefwoorden life imprisonment the Netherlands, prison regime, prison living conditions, prison policies, human rights
Auteurs G. de Jonge
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Though small in numbers life and long-term prisoners pose special problems for the Dutch prison administration in terms of their treatment. A new approach is to concentrate these prisoners in three units specially designated for them. It is still unclear however what the regime in those facilities will look like. The author argues for introducing there a ‘compensatory regime’ that can counteract to some degree the harmful effects of life and long-term imprisonment.


G. de Jonge
Prof. mr. dr. Gerard de Jonge is emeritus bijzonder hoogleraar detentierecht aan de Universiteit Maastricht.
Artikel

Perspectiefverlies bij levenslange gevangenisstraf en longstay-tbs-kader

Overeenkomsten en verschillen

Trefwoorden life imprisonment regimes, forensic clinics’ regimes, forensic longstay, psychological effects of detention, perspectives for detainees
Auteurs P.C. Braun
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    A comparison between life prisoners and long-term forensic psychiatric inpatients shows, besides differences in legal position, important similarities. Therefore the results of an experiment with regime changes in the long-term ward of Dutch forensic psychiatric institutions might also be relevant for the regime of life prisoners. The experiments are partly based on the ideas of Andrews, Ward and Bonta. The fundamental idea is to give inpatients a sense of control over their life environment by granting them as much responsibility as possible for practicalities, by communicating with their representatives regularly and taking a positive attitude towards inpatients’ preferences and requests. First experiences show that the new approach seems to have a positive impact on inpatients. They suffer less from depression as well as aggressive moods, which contributes to a better atmosphere in the institution. Stressing the tentative nature of this observation the author indicates that the hypothesis on the beneficial effects of active influence on the life environment might be verified by research currently in progress.


P.C. Braun
Drs. Peter Braun is als manager Patiëntenzorg Langdurende Forensisch Psychiatrische Zorg verbonden aan de Pompestichting.
Artikel

Perspectief voor levenslanggestraften?

Trefwoorden life imprisonment the Netherlands, High Court jurisprudence, parole procedures, reducing life sentences, judicial verdict
Auteurs T. de Bont en S. Meijer
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article focuses on the ‘de iure’ and ‘de facto’ possibilities in Dutch penal law to reduce a life sentence. The question is whether the current legal framework offers sufficient perspective to life prisoners as required by the European Court of Human Rights. It also addresses the disadvantages of the current procedures. The authors argue that it is desirable that a legal possibility for release on probation of life prisoners is introduced in the Netherlands. They will set out a bill written by the NGO ‘Forum Levenslang’ that would make this possible.


T. de Bont
Mr. Tim de Bont is als advocaat werkzaam bij Cleerdin & Hamer Advocaten.

S. Meijer
Mr. dr. Sonja Meijer is universitair docent straf(proces)recht aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Boekbespreking

Boekrecensie: leven na een levenslange gevangenisstraf

Trefwoorden life imprisonment England, mandatory life sentence, discretionary life sentence, reintegration, desistance
Auteurs E.F.J.C. van Ginneken
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    While a life sentence means life in prison in the Netherlands, prisoners serving a life sentence (‘lifers’) in England and Wales are eligible for conditional release (upon discretion of the parole board) after serving a minimum term. Life after life imprisonment by Catherine Appleton (2010) provides a detailed insight into the post-release experiences of 138 lifers and the supervision of this group by the probation service. Appleton has collected data from files and by interviewing 113 probation officers and 37 lifers, including 9 who were back in prison. Qualitative analysis revealed that self-efficacy and normality (e.g. a stable job and family life) are important in the process of desistance and that the probation service plays a valued supportive role. Statistical analysis further showed that alcohol abuse, sex offending, a history of sexual abuse and a poor relationship with one’s probation officer are significant predictors of return to prison.


E.F.J.C. van Ginneken
Esther van Ginneken, MPhil in Criminology, is als PhD candidate verbonden aan het Prisons Research Centre van de University of Cambridge.
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