Life for a life29 Jul 2003
Yesterday Markus Gäfgen was sentenced to life imprisonment for the kidnap and murder of the 11 year old Jakob von Metzler in Frankfurt last summer. This would merely be local news, except that after Gäfgen's arrest, when it was still thought the boy was alive, Frankfurt police threatened the suspect with 'severe pain' (i.e. torture) if he did not reveal the location of the boy.
The court ruled Gäfgen's police confession as inadmissible, and declared that the police conduct had done 'serious damage' to the German rule of law. However, it also ruled that the police conduct had no bearing on Gäfgen's guilt and declared the crime as extraordinary, ruling out parole after 15 years.
I'm no student of the law, but it is interesting how the German court separated the extreme breach of constitutional rights from the criminal case. An American court may well have let Gäfgen walk away scot-free.
Update: Added link to Deutsche Welle, which is more complete than the Expatica report.