A ruling by the European Court could mean multiple murderers like Jeremy Bamber might one day walk free from prison.
Bamber was told by Britain's Home Secretary that he would never be released from prison, after being convicted in 1986 of murdering five members of his own family at Tolleshunt D'Arcy near Maldon in Essex.
The European Court of Human Rights has now ruled that so-called whole life sentences are illegal and that has outraged politicians, as well as members of Bamber's own family.
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The MP for the area of Essex where Jeremy Bamber killed five members of his family has condemned a decision by the European Court of Human Rights which ruled against the killer's whole life sentence.
The Conservative MP for Witham, Priti Patel, said it should not be the business of European courts or European judges to interfere in decisions made by British courts.
Ms Patel said: "It demonstrates how out of touch the European Court is and how arrogant the European judges are to meddle in the court process in British courts."
A statement from Jeremy Bamber, who maintains his innocence to this day, has appeared on his blog, following today's European Court of Human Rights ruling.
It read: "I am the only person in the UK who was retrospectively given a life tariff on a majority verdict that maintains innocence.
"The verdict today seems in so many ways to be hollow, as I am still serving a prison sentence for a crime I did not commit.
"My whole life order has now been given a system of reviews, but there is no provision for someone who is wrongly convicted to prove that they are worthy of release, such hope is in reality, no hope at all.
"Reviews and parole hearings are subject to a risk assessment to gauge dangerousness and this is influenced by the inmate's confession, remorse and rehabilitation for reintegration back into the community. In my case I do not fit the criteria for parole on this basis.
"The justice system, despite the investment in the Criminal Cases Review Commission, still refuses to accept that there are prisoners who are innocent of the crimes they have been convicted of and this comes into conflict with sentence reviews.
"While there are some people who have been released at the end of their sentence and still maintained innocence, such as Eddie Gilfoyle and Susan May, it is unlikely I would ever be released without my conviction being overturned...Simply because of the high profile nature of my case.
"As is always, the law does not apply if it assists me in anyway."
@itvanglia Load of rubbish Bamber has no human rights the same as his victims. Political Correctness & lets forget about the victims! ANGRY
@itvanglia Makes me so so so ANGRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Writing on his blog, Essex murderer Jeremy Bamber is maintaining is innocence. He was convicted of killing five members of his family in 1986.
Despite winning an appeal over whole life sentences at the European Court of Human Rights he says "it is unlikely I will ever be released without my conviction being overturned."
“I am the only person in the UK who was [retrospectively] given a life tariff on a majority verdict that maintains innocence. The verdict today seems in so many ways to be hollow, as I am still serving a prison sentence for a crime I did not commit."
"My whole life order has now been given a system of reviews, but there is no provision for someone who is wrongly convicted to prove that they are worthy of release, such hope is in reality, no hope at all."
European judges have ruled that whole-life jail terms without the possibility of review amount to a breach of human rights.
Jeremy Bamber, who killed five members of his family in Essex, and two other killers, have won an appeal in the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights that their sentences amount to inhuman and degrading treatment.
The court found that for a life sentence to remain compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights there had to be both a possibility of release and a possibility of review.
However, the panel of 17 judges added: "In finding a violation in this case, however, the court did not intend to give the applicants any prospect of imminent release."