The average 'life' tariff for murder is around eleven years. Murder victims remain dead indefinitely.
But these derisory sentences are too much for our new DPP, a defence lawyer who was convicted while a student of sending drugs through the post to a friend.
Ken MacDonald wants to introduce an American style system of 'degrees of murder' - without of course American style punishments.
A day or two back we reported on the 20,000 offences committed by people on bail in one Scottish police region.
Now we find that half of Scots prisoners are back inside within two years of release. When you consider how hard you have to try to be sent down these days (unless of course you're a teacher with an unloaded air pistol) the level of reoffending must be massive.
You can take two views of this figure. One is that prison doesn't work, so let them all all out. Or you can argue that with such high levels of reoffending, they shouldn't be let out early. While they're inside, they're not committing crime.
Alternatively, you can come from the Planet Zog.
SPS chief executive Tony Cameron said he was encouraged by the fact that 50% of criminals did not return to custody.
"This is something that SPS is committed to build upon by closer working with partner agencies in the public and voluntary sectors," he said.
I wonder how much we're paying that guy ?