Yesterday, 18 years after the crime was committed, two men were convicted of the murder of black teen-ager Stephen Lawrence. Today, Gary Dobson and David Norris, were sentenced to life imprisonment. Britain does not have the death penalty. Nor does life imprisonment mean life here.
Most life sentences stipulate a minimum amount of time to be served before a convicted murderer is eligible for parole. Because Dobson and Miller were teen-agers at the time of the murder, their minimum time in jail was set by Mr. Justice Treacy at 15 years and two months. Norris must serve 14 years and three months.