TEL AVIV (Jun. 11)
President Chaim Herzog has refused to commute the sentences of four Israeli Jews convicted of killing Arabs, Ha’aretz reported Sunday.
He rejected appeals to reduce the life sentences of three Jewish youths found guilty five years ago of the reprisal slaying of an Arab taxi driver.
He also turned down the appeal of David Ben-Shimol, who fired an anti-tank missile at an Arab bus, killing one passenger and wounding several others. He was convicted four years ago.
Herzog has been criticized in some circles for the clemency he granted on June 5 to the last three members of a Jewish terrorist underground still in jail.
He reduced their sentences from 15 to 10 years, which means they could go free in two years if given time off for good behavior.
The trio, Menachem Livni, Uzi Sharbaf and Shaul Nir, originally drew life sentences for fatally shooting four Palestinians in a 1984 attack on the Islamic College in Hebron.
Herzog twice reduced their sentences. He acted a third time on the personal recommendation of Justice Minister Dan Meridor and on the basis of reports that the prisoners showed remorse.
According to Ha’aretz, the president also took into account research done in the United States that questioned the deterrent effect of prolonged prison terms.