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When life means life

Multiple murderer Arthur Hutchinson, who killed three members of the same Sheffield family, is the first prisoner to test the European Court ruling on whole life tariffs. Home Secretary Leon Brittan ruled Hutchinson should spend the rest of his days in jail, overturning an 18-year prison sentence set by the courts for his crimes back in 1985. Now aged 73, Hutchinson has challenged his tariff after last month’s Court of Human Rights ruled it was inhumane and degrading for prisoners to face death in jail. The Government has consistently opposed this ruling and now we are set to see the battle of wills and power played out. Once again, though, the victims will be the family of Basil and Avril Laitner, and their son Richard, his murder victims, who will have to relive an ordeal they had thought was behind them. The European Court of Human Rights has a duty to protect the rights of everybody – but this includes the victims and in this instance any review that changes the tariff would be a failure in that role.

Celebrate success

Our schools and pupils will be celebrating great exam results today, and just as we said after the A-levels last week, let them do so. Let the debate over whether exams are getting easier be consigned to the history books. Education is different today and so are the ways we test our pupils. Our children deserve the recognition of their hard work. Well done to them.

Be proud of our city

The search is on to find Sheffield’s best loved places, with residents being asked to submit pictures of their favourite venues. It is a chance to celebrate the wealth of great buildings and open spaces this city has. It is often too easy to focus on the ugly and dilapidated, while there are so many places we should be proud of.