Friday, May 29, 2009

Longer than life

Spanish law dictates that, if a person receives just one sentence, he or she cannot serve more than a maximum of 30 years. But where several sentences accumulate, they must be served in full.

The longest serving prisoner in Spain is Manuel Pinteño who started his sentence at Alicante’s Foncalent prison when he was 19 and is not due to leave until he is 108 – a total of 89 years behind bars.

What exactly did this man do to warrant such a harsh term in gaol? First off, he committed a series of robberies,  thefts and attempts to flee arrest. Then in 1990, he was accused of being the ring leader in a prison riot which lead to the death of a prison officer.

However, the case against Pinteño has been reopened because the judge who sentenced him now considers the punishment unjust. He has already served 32 years and that may now be considered enough.

Incidentally, despite having spent most of his life behind bars, Pinteño has fathered seven children, conceived during his ex-wife’s visits.

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