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War Criminal Charles Taylor Gets 50 year Sentence

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opednews.com Headlined to H3 5/30/12

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International judges sentenced former Liberian President Charles Taylor to 50 years in prison Wednesday, saying he was responsible for "some of the most heinous and brutal crimes recorded in human history" by arming and supporting Sierra Leone rebels in return for "blood diamonds."

The 64-year-old warlord-turned-president is the first former head of state convicted by an international war crimes court since World War II and judges said they had no precedent when deciding his sentence.

"The lives of many more innocent civilians in Sierra Leone were lost or destroyed as a direct result of his actions," Presiding Judge Richard Lussick said.

Prosecutors had asked for an 80-year sentence; Taylor's lawyers urged judges to hand down a sentence that offered him some hope of release before he dies.

Hollis said the sentence would only provide a measure of closure for victims

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