Wat Tyler, at Burning Our Money, complains that:
There is something seriously wrong with a criminal justice system that fails to protect 17 year old girls from people like Kohli: 22 years is nowhere near a proportionate sentence for what he did, and its deterrent effect is practically zilch.Tyler describes the crime as follows:
17 year-old Hannah was kidnapped, then brutally raped and murdered, by an animal called Maninder Pal Singh Kohli. As Hannah's Mum later put it, her precious daughter had been left "terrified and alone with an evil stranger. She would have been frozen with fear, unable to run or fight – the proverbial lamb to the slaughter. I feel as though Kohli has ripped out my heart and stamped on it."What would be a proportionate sentence for this?
The whole idea of proportionality in such cases is meaningless; there are no scales on which the offence can be balanced against a response. Instead, sentencing needs to consider a group of factors: deterrence, which is debatable in such cases (if the man thought he might have been caught he wouldn't have done it, indeed in a confession in India he said he killed the girl because he wanted to make sure he wouldn't be caught); the protection of society, which turns on the idea of rehabilitation as much as incarceration; the feelings of the relatives of the victim. The last could only be fully satisfied by an until-death life sentence.
I'm the same age as one of the Moors murder victims, and until Myra Hindley died the decades were punctuated with pleas from anguished relatives of one or other of the murdered children that Hindley not be released. The possibility of release meant that these relatives could never really move on. The same must be true for many relatives, as well as victims of serious assaults who did survive.
Nothing can be done for the dead. But whole-life sentences would make the lives of those left behind far more bearable.
Of course, the death penalty would have the same effect. I'd lose no sleep if, say, the man who murdered two girls in Soham, where I live, had been killed. But the problems of fallibility and process mean I oppose this punishment.