Former Argentinian dictator Jorge Videla has been sentenced to life in prison for the torture and murder of 31 prisoners, most of whom who were "shot while trying to escape" in the months after his military coup. The conviction was Videla's first in 25 years for crimes against humanity, thrilling relatives who packed the courtroom, holding up grainy black-and-white pictures of the victims and shouting "murderers" at the defendants. Most of the two-dozen former military and police officials who were tried with Videla also received life sentences. Videla, who led the military coup that installed Argentina's 1976-1983 dictatorship, is considered the architect of a dirty war that killed thousands of people in a crackdown on armed leftist guerrillas and their supporters. The judges found Videla "criminally responsible" for the deaths of the prisoners, who were transferred from civilian jail cells to a clandestine prison where they were repeatedly tortured under interrogation before being killed. Videla told the court that Argentinian society demanded the crackdown to prevent a Marxist revolution and complained that "terrorists" now run the country.