Debra J. Saunders

Van der Graaf testified, the Times of London reported, "Normally, I find it morally reprehensible to kill someone." Normally? When the prosecution asked him if what he did was acceptable, van der Graaf answered: "At the time, I thought it was. Now I'm turning the question around in my head." Well, that should be a short journey.

This killer showed only the pretense of remorse, yet the Dutch judges pronounced van der Graaf as unlikely to kill again.

"There are a whole lot of Europeans who would disagree vehemently with that opinion and would sentence that guy to life in prison immediately," Hoover Institution fellow Dennis Bark noted.

True, but those aren't the voices leading the European Union herd.

Readers are aware that the Netherlands, like all EU countries, has no death penalty. But you may not know that the EU issued a policy paper that criticized life sentences and called for "moving toward keeping imprisonment to an absolute minimum." Van der Graaf's minimal sentence is in the spirit of the EU ideal.

The Dutch have imposed 21 life sentences in the last half century -- usually for unrepentant, high-profile serial killers. Van der Graaf is just an unrepentant, high-profile, political killer -- who murdered a man and an election.

A Fortuyn partisan told the Guardian, "Fortuyn was killed for his ideas -- think about that." Fortuyn was killed for his ideas, and his killer will be set free because of a judicial philosophy that fails to consider the consequences of setting violent people free.

Debra J. Saunders

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