Becky Watts: Do Killers Deserve Shorter Sentences?

The two people convicted of killing Becky Watts want their prison sentences shortened, and social media is expressing outrage about it. The Bath Chronicle reports that loved ones of the slain teen are also expressing anger that Shauna Hoare and Nathan Matthews are appealing their sentences through the Royal Courts of Justice.

Both Hoare and Matthews were sentenced to a total (between the two of them) of 50 years. Matthews was given 33 years of imprisonment, and his female accomplice was given 17. The Guardian reports that even though Hoare was given a shorter sentence than Nathan Matthews, the judge expressed his belief that she likely desired to kidnap and harm teens equal to her lover. Their trial lasted all of five weeks, leading to a rather quick conviction in the gruesome slaying and dismemberment of missing teen Becky Watts.

Becky Watts went missing earlier this year in late February, sparking a deluge of media reports. Her disappearance was immediately concerning due to circumstances that seemed to indicate that she didn’t vanish on her own. It wasn’t long before dismembered body parts belonging to the 16-year-old student were located by authorities. Those remains led to the arrests of Nathan Matthews and his girlfriend, Shauna Hoare. The search for the missing teen ended on a truly gruesome note that was made more shocking by the fact that her own stepbrother (and his girlfriend) had been arrested in connection to her death.

Ultimately, it was proven that Matthews and Hoare kidnapped his little stepsister before smothering her to death. The couple then dismembered the 16-year-old girl and stashed her remains near their home, a detail which indeed led to their arrests and convictions. Over the course of the investigation and the trial, it was revealed that both Hoare and Matthews shared violent sexual fantasies regarding young teenage girls. Nonetheless, both have argued that the murder and dismemberment of Becky Watts weren’t illustrative of any presumed sexual perversions. Matthews told the court that he accidentally killed her while smothering her in a rage while trying to “teach her a lesson.” He blamed the entire incident on little more than two step-siblings who did not get along.

The courts did not buy these stories, which is why both he and his girlfriend will spend many years behind bars — unless they get their way. Both Matthews and Hoare want their prison sentences reduced and have reportedly already sent in the appropriate forms to the courts. If they get their way, they could both (or, at least, one of them) be released from prison sooner than the sentence that was imposed upon their convictions.

Meanwhile, on social media, the hashtag #BeckyKillers is producing a host of comments, the most of which are expressing outrage that Shauna Hoare and Nathan Matthews would even think an early release is possible.

Do these two convicted killers deserve a second chance to live with the rest of society? The parents of Becky Watts have called the latest news “a punch in the gut” as they mourn the loss of a teen who hasn’t even been dead a year. The thought of these two violent murderers expecting shorter sentences is probably adding more pain to their current anguish.

[Image via Becky Watts/Twitter]