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Serial killer says he supports judge's ruling to uphold life sentences

Feb. 18, 2014 at 5:17 PM

LONDON, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- A convicted serial killer says he supports a British court ruling that "life means life" and that his victims' families should know "I will never be released."

The statement by triple murderer Ian McLoughlin came as Britain's chief justice bucked a ruling by the European human rights court that life sentences were violations of human rights, the British newspaper the Telegraph reported Tuesday.

After being convicted of his third murder, McLoughlin was sentenced to 40 years in prison. The judge declined to give him a life sentence, saying it was "not appropriate" in light of a ruling by the Strasbourg court last summer that life sentences were "inhumane and degrading treatment."

Attorney General Dominic Grieve appealed the sentence as "unduly lenient" to the Court of Appeals.

McLoughlin said he supported the attorney general's appeal. In a letter to his attorney, McLoughlin said, "It is just that I believe I deserve the whole life tariff which the Attorney General is seeking and that the family of Graham Buck deserves to know officially that I will never be released."

A five-judge appeals panel headed by Chief Justice John Lord Thomas rejected the trial's judge's sentence and ordered McLoughlin to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Lord Thomas said life sentences were "entirely compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights."

He said judges should continue to hand down life sentences "on the rare and exceptional cases which fall within the statutory scheme."

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