VILNIUS – Lithuania's Ministry of Justice has drafted a bill that would give hope to persons serving life sentences to walk out of prison, Lietuvos Rytas daily said.
According to the daily, the ministry prepared the amendments after eight inmates serving life in prison won a case at the European Court of Human Rights and another 18 turned to Strasbourg over violation of their rights.
Under the bill, persons serving life sentences will be eligible to apply for revision of their sentence after spending 25 years in prison, however, the right will not be persons meeting six criteria: impeccable behavior, implementation of measures specified in the social rehabilitation plan, reduced crime risk and the convict's admission of an impact the penalty had upon him. Furthermore, such persons will have to have compensated at least part of the sums to victims, fully admit their guilt and sincerely regret their crime.
The Council of Europe's Ministerial Committee took interest in the condition of individuals sentenced to life in Lithuania following the ECHR ruling handed down last May. The ruling suggested that Lithuania had violated Article 3 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, comparing life sentences without the possibility of review to torture. Lithuania was ordered to provide the plans for solving the issue to the committee by Feb. 23 of this year.