Convicted Nazi unlikely to serve sentence due to ill health

[JURIST] Convicted Nazi commander Josef Scheungraber, 93, will likely not serve his life sentence [JURIST report] due to mental health issues [Sueddeutsche Zeitung report, in German]. Scheungraber has consistently claimed innocence, and his lawyer, Gunter Widmaier, has been appealing his conviction since 2009. It was only recently that claims of mental inability to grasp the penal system surfaced, with the prosecutor ordering an independent medical review, which has convinced many in the office that Scheungraber is unfit to serve his sentence in Germany. Scheungraber is reportedly suffering from calcification of the brain, and his health will deteriorate drastically in prison. Italian judicial counterparts, who also sentenced him to life in prison, have not weighed in on the case. Scheungraber was sentenced to life in prison for the 1944 reprisal killing of 10 Italian civilians. Scheungraber was convicted of 10 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder for ordering soldiers to blow up a barn in Falzano di Cortona, Tuscany [memorial website, in Italian] after forcing 11 civilians inside.

Despite the ages of the accused, prosecutions of Nazis continue around the world. Earlier this month, both the prosecution and the defense in the case of alleged Nazi Sandor Kepiro have announced they will be appealing a Hungarian court's decision to acquit [JURIST reports]. Kepiro was acquitted of participating in the 1942 Novi Sad massacre in Serbia. In May, the trial of accused Nazi guard John Demjanjuk [NNDB profile, JURIST news archive] ended when he was convicted [JURIST report] but released because of his advanced age. An appeal [JURIST report] of his release is pending. In November, Nazi guard Samuel Kunz [Trial Watch profile], 89, passed away [JURIST report] in his home before he could be brought to trial. He was accused of aiding in the killing of hundreds of thousands of Jewish people at the Belzec concentration camp [HRP backgrounder].

 

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