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Germany

A Just Sentence for the Cannibal?

Germany's self-confessed cannibal was convicted to eight years and six months in prison. Is that punishment enough for the crime? DW-WORLD readers give their opinion.

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The "Cannibal from Rotenburg" doesn't have too much to smile about.

"I can fully appreciate the difficult in rendering a decision on this case. It appears both the convicted and the victim were mentally unstable, making this case even more difficult. However, based on the fact Mr. Armin Meiwes was fit to stand trial, I believe the sentence was not harsh enough. He took advantage of another man's mental instability to commit an unacceptable crime and thus should be harshly treated. I do not know about your legal system in Germany, but I would hope Meiwes would not be given any further lenience through early release." -- Rod Huggins

"This sentence is way too mild!" -- Andre Baumann, Dublin, Ireland

"The fact that Meiwes, a sexual deviate, will only be 50 when he is returned to society would tell most people that the recently returned sentence is not nearly long enough, despite his promise to "go straight" now that he has accomplished his fantasy. Anyone who is familiar with sex crimes knows once will never be enough for them. Most interestingly, however, is that your country has decriminalized murder when consent is given, also known as mercy killing or euthanasia, and this is the reason this monster could not be charged with murder, as he most assuredly should have been. I cannot imagine why the consent of the victim has anything whatever to do with the actions and intent of the perpetrator. The spectacular failure of your legal system in this case is a letter perfect example to every other nation who is considering the decriminalization of killing by consent of precisely why this should never come to pass anywhere else in the world." -- Kathie Godfrey

"This is another dehumanising experience from Germany. What a shame the legal system lets him off with 8.5years in prison. Luckily, Germany now has a confirmed human butcher in Meiwes to help him complete his wish - a desired euthansia - literary excuse to help in murder? Secondly, if Bernd really came to be killed, why was he carrying a return ticket home? Such gruesome acts considered in legal parlance as manslaugther - when it is clearly the worst human murder.My love for Germany has gone many notches down since this awful story appeared and with such a light sentence and a loss of mammoth dismay, is unbelievable. Wake up, Deutchland; all of us have weak moments - but how can a society condone fulfilling of those psychological lows. They need to be supported by people and society to come out of it, rather than to finish them. How sad"-- Rajeev

No, eight years is definitely not enough for such a horrible crime! Since he did plan to eat his victim, it was a murder case, not just a case of man-slaughter. I think he is too dangerous to be allowed to survive such an unacceptable crime -- Marina Poon, England

No, eight years is not enough. There is there something wrong when a society fails to punish people such as the "Cannibal from Rotenburg" in an appropriate manner.
The crime he committed reflects a person who is mentally sick. He deserves at least a life sentence. The life sentence would not have been a punishment but a deterrent. It would have deterred him from committing the same act on someone else. It appears the Cannibal from Rotenburg has been put on a diet for eight years -- Lorren Britton

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