In granting an appeal by 3 men in England, the European Court of Human Rights basically called all life imprisonment unjust. Dalrymple responds at the Library of Law and Liberty:
There is nothing unjust (no derogation of anyone’s human rights) in society saying that a person forfeits his right to live as a free person in that society if he commits acts above a certain level of malignity. Indeed, one might say that a society that does not say such a thing has lost its humanity, its capacity to react to moral outrage. This does not mean that people who commit such acts should be dealt with cruelly, subject to torture, and so forth…
And I had to point out this delightful little nugget from P.D. James:
It was the crime writer, P. D. James, who spent much of her early career in the British government department that administered prisons, who pointed out that if someone who had committed crimes such as those imputed to these three men truly repented of what he had done, and truly understood its moral import, he would not campaign for his own release but be content to let others decide his fate. In other words, he would quietly accept his imprisonment as inherently just, however long it was.