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A tool for rehabilitating criminals or simply a way of granting special favors?For most Icelanders, the law is obsolete, unjust and an example of the cronyism that has for too long poisoned politics on the small North Atlantic island of 335,000 people.Icelandic prison sentences longer than four months bar convicts from standing for election, taking a seat on the board of a state-owned company and practicing law, among other things.Atli Gudjon Helgason is an international footballer-turned-lawyer who was sentenced to 16 years in prison for brutally murdering his business associate in 2001 .His civil rights were later restored and he was able to recover his license to practice law.In an effort to address the concerns, Parliament voted on Sept. 27 to temporarily repeal a section of the law that deals with those sentenced to more than one year in prison, pending a full review by the future government.But Arnar Thor Jonsson, a lawyer and former Reykjavik judge, lamented that some convicts are now no longer able to benefit from rehabilitation efforts.
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