Less than 10 years for kidnap, or, why I’m glad Wolfgang Priklopil killed himself

The ancient legal concept of lex talionis — an eye for an eye — may be too Sinaitic for current tastes, but when you tally the suffering caused by the crime (8 years locked in a cellar, abuse, untold psychological suffering inflicted upon the victim and her family), then a maximum 1o year sentence for kidnap according to current Austrian law is a joke. Happily, the Austrian justice ministry is reconsidering the current law. If you are so evil that you can countenance such a crime, can society ever trust you?



  1. If somebody kidnapped my child and did those things, there wouldn’t need to be trial. Well, maybe for me. I’d plead not guilty and go for jury nullification.


  2. Ronan, I was going to post on this as well. I initially told you I thought the maximum was seven years under the Austrian Criminal Code, but it looks like they are at least a little more reasonable than I was giving them credit for (maxium of 10 years rather than seven). So, if the court would have given him the maximum, he would have spent a decade watching porn and playing video games in an Austrian prison that is mandated to do everything it can to make sure that its prisoners experience no discomfort. There is nothing remotely talionic about that punishment.

    Nothing less than 25 years, in my opinion, would be sufficient for this crime. I think life in prison would actually be adequate for ruining the life of a young girl, robbing her of her entire teenage years in a dungeon.


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