The first former head of state to be convicted of war crimes since World War II was sentenced to 50 years in prison Wednesday by an international court in The Hague, Netherlands.
The court convicted Charles Taylor last month of aiding rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone in a campaign of terror, involving murder, rape, sexual slavery and the conscription children younger than 15.The prosecution had asked the Special Court for Sierra Leone for a sentence of 80 years for Taylor, the president of Liberia from 1997 to 2003, but the judges found the recommendation "excessive" citing the "limited scope" of the conviction in some points.There is no death penalty in international criminal law, and Taylor, 64, would serve out his sentence in a British prison.
Taylor's record of crimes against humanity was purely awful. He literally tried to take over Sierra Leone by funding rebels and sending in troops and weapons across the border from Liberia to allow multiple massacres of women and children in an orchestrated attempt to topple the government there through bloody terrorism. It was moderately successful, so much so that outside funding of rebel forces was immediately apparent and pinned on Taylor ten years ago. It's taken this long for him to pay the price, but pay it he will, spending the rest of his life in prison.
Child soldiers, roving rape gangs, prostitution slavery rings, assassinations of enemies, Taylor did it all. Fifty years is a million years too short of a sentence for this monster.