The question as to what a life sentence means has come back and is being thrown around in debating rooms all over the place.
I don't believe that punishing people severely for minor offences by throwing them in jail is a good idea and I don't think it works either. I am totally against the death penalty mainly because there is a 0.1% chance that the person the state executes may not be the right one and that is a very high risk to take with any ones life.
But on the other hand I do believe that those convicted for crimes of hate or premeditated murders should be in jail for at least 25 years. But this is a complicated area of the law and I also agree that each case should be looked at and the specific detail studied carefully before sentence is handed. A murderer however who simply goes out and kills someone for pleasure should not be allowed to think that he or she could come because they 'behave well' when inside a prison cell.