It is more usual [in our modern world], however, to attribute good character to those those who behave badly than bad character to those who behave well (the latter propensity often being the consequence of envy). I once heard a fond mother of a boy aged fifteen, who had burgled more than two hundred houses, say of him on the radio that "he's a good boy really," that is to say, a lad with a heart of gold, despite the considerable amount of misery to others that each of his crimes had almost certainty caused. No doubt it is a natural and to some degree necessary thing for a mother to indulge in special pleading on behalf of her son, but it is absurd that it should be accorded any intellectual respect.
The European Court of Human Rights recently ruled that whole-life sentences to prison are against Man's fundamental rights because they eliminate the possibility of repentance and redemption (known in the trade as rehabilitation). Thus, the judges of a court that is supreme in matters relating to supposed human rights for a continent on which, within living memory, tens of millions of people have been systematically starved or abused to death or put to death industrially on an unimaginably vast scale, could conceive of no crime so terrible that the person who committed it was beyond earthly redemption. On this basis, someone like Himmler, had he not committed suicide, or Beria, had he not been shot by his erstwhile colleagues, would have been eligible for parole, provided only that they showed reformed character by, for example, making toys for children or Braille books for the blind.