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    The fact that the Netherlands have abolished the death penalty in 1870 does not imply that this criminal sanction doesn't affect the Dutch legal order anymore. As a member of the international ‘legal family’ The Netherlands are confronted regularly with the continuing existence of capital punishment abroad, for instance when a Dutch national is sentenced to death in a foreign country. The (threat of a) death penalty is an important factor when Dutch administrative or judicial authorities have to decide on matters concerning the admission or expulsion of foreign citizens or the extradition of suspects to countries where they run the risk of being sentenced to death. In the Netherlands the enforcement of life sentences can get the character of a suspended death sentence when time and again pardon is denied and the convict will die a prisoner. Long-term prisoners suffer a kind of civil death, being cut off from their families, friends and other social contacts. In sum: enough reasons to focus once more on the ultimate criminal sanction.


G. de Jonge
Prof. mr. dr. Gerard de Jonge is als hoogleraar Detentierecht verbonden aan de capaciteitsgroep Strafrecht en Criminologie van de Universiteit Maastricht.
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