Charles Taylor Condemned to Spend the Rest of His Life in Prison

Special Court for Sierra Leone

Today the Trial Chamber sentenced Mr. Taylor to 50 years in prison. The sentence follows Mr. Taylor’s conviction of eleven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Brenda J. Hollis said “we appreciate that the Trial Chamber appropriately highlighted the extreme gravity of the crimes of which Mr. Taylor has been convicted. The judges quite rightly noted the devastating longterm impact of the crimes on those who survived them.

“Mr. Taylor was convicted of planning the most vicious offensive in the entire campaign of atrocities against the people of Sierra Leone, an operation aptly named Operation No Living Thing. He not only planned it, but issued the imperative that it should be ‘fearful’ and that it should use ‘all means’. Additionally, Mr. Taylor was convicted of providing ‘indispensable’ and multi-varied support to the rebels throughout the ongoing campaign of atrocities against the people of Sierra Leone, including during Operation No Living Thing.

“We will carefully review the sentencing judgment keeping in mind the critical role Mr. Taylor played in the commission of the crimes of which he has been convicted, the horrible suffering of the victims, and the devastating impact of the crimes,” stated Hollis. “Upon completion of that review, we will determine if we will appeal the sentence. It is important that those responsible for criminal misconduct on a massive scale are not given a volume discount.

“The sentence imposed today does not replace amputated limbs, does not bring back to life those who were murdered, does not heal the wounds of those who were victims of sexual violence, and does not remove the permanent emotional, psychological and physical scars of those enslaved or recruited as child soldiers. But this sentence does bring some measure of justice for these terrible wrongs, and reflects the condemnation of all members of the global community for the suffering inflicted on innocent men, women and children.”

Also See:
The Charles Taylor Conviction an Imperialist Victory
Charles Taylor Conviction Illustrates Hypocrisy in the Application of International Law
The Message of the Charles Taylor Conviction: “Don’t Cross Us”