Should Life mean Life?

The family of Megan McAlorum went to London today and met with the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith. They brought with them 50,000 signatures on a petition calling for a Life sentence to mean Life. The Attorney General has said he was moved by the McAlorum’s, and will give his decision on the case tomorrow. He will decide whether to send the case to the Appeals Court to review the length of the sentence.

There is no doubt about the distress, pain and unremitting agony that this family have gone through and will continue to go through for the rest of their lives. The details of the case that have been released are harrowing, and Megan’s mother has been tireless in bringing her case to the media.

But do we lock criminals up and throw away the key? As a society, are we committing to the fact that there is no redemption, no remorse, no rehabilitation? Thomas Purcell was 18 at the time of the murder, and admitted guilty to the charges moments before the trial began. He has been sentenced to a mimimum term of 15 years in jail.