Court: Resocialize life sentence prisoner

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The Dutch State must re-socialize life-sentence prisoner Edwin S., the court in The Hague ruled on Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by S. himself, ANP reports.

After serving 23 years and seven months of his sentence, S. would like the chance to reenter society. But so far the State refuses that S. participate in activities aimed to rehabilitate him for an eventual return to society.

The prisoner therefore decided to turn to court, basing his argument on the European Court of  Human Rights ruling that a life sentence without a chance of release is inhumane. The Human Rights court ruled that after 25 years in prison, a court must assess how far the life sentence prisoner's rehabilitation has come and whether continued imprisonment is justified.

In June State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff of Security and Justice agreed to reevaluate life sentences after 25 years.

Due to his long imprisonment, S.' resocialization will take at least 18 months. The Hague court therefore ruled that experts must now already decide which rehabilitation activities are necessary for him. The State must start drawing up a plan in the next 10 days.

In 1994 S. was convicted and given a life sentence for murdering a man and seriously injuring a woman from Badhoevedorp in a robbery.