A few weeks ago, I posted this:
...the risk of people being imprisoned in a US prison will fall into that category [inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment] and prevent an extradition sometime within the next 10 years or so.
... I would not be at all surprised if 'life-without-parol-in-a-supermax' is next [after the death peanlty], and not within a great length of time.
And what do we see?
The European Court of Human Rights has ordered a halt to the extradition to the US on terror charges of radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri.
Abu Hamza, jailed in the UK for soliciting to murder and racial hatred, and three other British men complained about the length of sentence they may face if convicted in the US.
Their cases will be delayed for further submissions to the Strasbourg court.
In each case, the US has indicated that the men face very long sentences in a "supermax" prison in Colorado.
The four applicants argued that the length of sentences they faced and the conditions of the prison, ADX Florence, breached their human rights.
The European Court said judges wanted to see more detailed arguments on the prison conditions and the effect of the length of sentences.
The other men could face a form of solitary confinement that some critics have dubbed prolonged psychological torture.
The court said there should be further legal argument on whether life without parole at the prison would breach the suspects' human rights.
But it said that the arguments over the length of the sentences that the men could face "raised serious questions".
Abu Hamza, Mr Ahmad and Mr Ahsan face life sentences and US prosecutors have said that Abu Hamza could be jailed for 100 years. Mr Aswat faces a maximum of 50 years.
Now, the extraditions have not been blocked entirely, but it seems that the court is not willing to just assume that sentences dished out in the USA will be just.
Now, the question is, how will the USA respond? Will it grow up and stop trying to give out absurd 100 years sentences? Or will it accuse the ECHR or being in league with terrorists?