From the AP, Jan. 30...
German Cannibal Sentenced to Prison
KASSEL, Germany - A German who confessed to killing, dismembering and eating another man who allegedly agreed to the arrangement over the Internet was convicted Friday of manslaughter and sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison.
A state court ruled that Armin Meiwes, a 42-year-old computer expert, had no "base motives" in the crime - sparing him a murder conviction.
Prosecutors had sought a life sentence, calling Meiwes a "human butcher" who acted simply to "satisfy a sexual impulse."
The defense argued that since the victim volunteered to be killed and eaten, the crime should be classified a mercy killing, which carries a five-year maximum penalty.
Before the verdict Meiwes looked calm, chatting with his attorney and occasionally grinning for cameras allowed inside the courtroom before the session began.
When his trial opened Dec. 3 in the central city of Kassel, Meiwes confessed in detail to killing Bernd Juergen Brandes, 43, in March 2001 at Meiwes' home in the town of Rotenburg.
Brandes traveled from Berlin in reply to an Internet advertisement seeking a young man for "slaughter and consumption." Meiwes testified that Brandes wanted to be stabbed to death after drinking a bottle of cold medicine to lose consciousness.
"Bernd came to me of his own free will to end his life," Meiwes said in his closing statement in court on Monday. "For him, it was a nice death."
Still, he said he regretted the killing.
"I had my big kick and I don't need to do it again," he said. "I regret it all very much, but I can't undo it."
A grisly video he made of the act was shown to the court during a closed session.
A doctor testified that Brandes died from loss of blood and that the medication, along with a half-bottle of liquor and 20 sleeping pills he took beforehand, could not have lessened his pain.
Several experts have testified that Meiwes was fit to stand trial and was not mentally ill.
Police tracked down and arrested him in December 2002 after a student in Austria alerted them to a message Meiwes had posted on the Internet.
"If I hadn't been so stupid as to keep looking on the Internet, I would have taken my secret to the grave," Meiwes said in his closing statement.
UPDATE: When moving this article to its new home here at Cinema Steve, I decided to see how life has been treating Mr. Meiwes. I discovered that since entering prison he has become a Vegetarian and has joined the Green Party (Jailbird Chapter)... and that he had NOT been released from prison as I had expected to find.
In April 2005, a German court ordered a retrial after prosecutors appealed his sentence.
The prosecutors believed he should have been convicted of murder. Among the questions courts answered is whether Brandes agreed to his killing, and whether he was legally capable of doing so at the moment, taking into account his apparent mental problems as well as his significant intake of alcohol. Other aspects of the retrial determined whether Meiwes killed to satiate his own desires (in particular sexual desires), and not because he was asked to, which Meiwes has repeatedly rejected during testimony.
At his retrial a psychologist stated that Meiwes could reoffend and still "had fantasies about devouring the flesh of young people." On May 10, 2006, a court in Frankfurt convicted Meiwes of murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
Armin Meiwes, enjoying a good meal....