The Meaning of "LIFE"

I was casually scrolling through the bowels of Twitter today, when I stopped on this story only because this gentleman had such a familiar name...

When researching the Twisted History of Serial Killers last year, I learned that Colin Pitchfork was the first person in the world to be convicted of murder on the basis of DNA evidence… He raped and strangled two 15 yo girls in the mid-1980s.  

He was arrested in 1987 and sentenced to life imprisonment in January of 1988, after pleading guilty to the two rapes and murders in addition to another incident of sexual assault.

A psychiatric report prepared for the court described Pitchfork as possessing a 'psychopathic personality disorder' accompanied with a 'serious psycho-sexual pathology', and the Lord Chief Justice at the time of his sentencing said, "From the point of view of the safety of the public I doubt if he should ever be released."

He was 28 years old at the time he entered prison.

Fast forward to just over thirty years later, and he’s about to be set free.

Maybe the devil is in the details here, and perhaps Pitchfork has displayed a tremendous amount of contrition and rehabilitation over the past three decades, but in light of our own country setting a serial rapist/pudding pop spokesman free just two weeks ago I think the term "life sentence" should be changed to something more realistic.

I am sure the parents of Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth took some solace when they learned their daughters' rapist/murderer would be spending his life behind bars, when in reality, he was moved to something called an 'open prison' in 2017 (An open prison in the UK is any jail in which the prisoners are trusted to complete their sentences with minimal supervision and are often not locked up in their prison cells. Prisoners may be permitted to take up employment OUTSIDE OF JAIL while serving their sentence.) and is now being released altogether at the age of 61.

Right now, the average life expectancy for a male living in the UK is 82 (for British females it's 83), so this guy has the opportunity to live as a free man for another 20 + years... AND he's just a plane ticket away from having lunch with Bill Cosby or working on his slice with OJ Simpson.

YOLO, Mr Pitchfork.

That's where my naiveté sets in... I read the words "life expectancy" in the chart I just quoted above and I immediately correlated it to how long a man lives.  I guess I still do the same when I hear the words "life sentence" even though this murderous pedophile still has a couple of decades worth of wood to chop on the outside, and (depending on the quality of the weight room at the prison he did most of his stretch in) perhaps he still has the upper body strength to overpower even more unsuspecting 15 year old girls... I mean, on the off chance that he is still has a 'psychopathic personality disorder' accompanied with a 'serious psycho-sexual pathology'.

My opinions have never mattered... If they did, our prisons would be a lot emptier BUT our firing squads would be a lot busier... And I believe Colin Pitchfork hasn't repaid his debt to society.  So tonight I will do the only thing a lazy and powerless non-resident of the UK can do.  I will raise a glass toasting the idea Colin may finally meet some justice as a free man when he runs into the business end of his last name.

Giphy Images.

Take a report.