Showing no emotion, 64-year-old former president of Liberia Charles Taylor was essentially sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday. Presiding Judge Richard Lussick believes the man, considered a warlord to many, was responsible for some of the most heinous and brutal crimes recorded in human history by arming and supporting rebels in Sierra Leone in return for “blood diamonds.” Taylor claimed to the bitter end that he believed his support of the rebels would bring peace to Liberia.
The sentence comes after his conviction last month by the Special Court of Sierra Leone on 11 charges of aiding and abetting the rebels who went on a brutal rampage during that country’s decade-long war, leaving more than 50,000 dead. Prosecutor Brenda Hollis, who’s considering an appeal to give him more jail time, said “It is important in our view that those responsible for criminal misconduct on a massive scale are not given a volume discount. The sentence that was imposed today does not replace amputated limbs. It does not bring back those who were murdered. It does not heal the wounds of those who were victims of sexual violence and does not remove the permanent emotional and psychological and physical scars of those enslaved or recruited as child soldiers.”