Submitted on Thursday 4th August 2011
Published on Friday 5th August 2011
Current status: Closed
Closed: Sunday 5th August 2012
Abolitish the Mandatory Life Sentence for Murder, and Introduce Degrees of the Offence
Currently, the English law on homicide is irrationally structured. The main reason for this is the mandatory life sentence for murder. This sentence being mandatory means that people who intend to kill, but who can rely on the partial defences of diminished responsibility and provocation are not labelled as murderers (to avoid an unnecessarily harsh sentence). It also means that judges have to set tariffs for murderers, as many don't actually deserve a life in prison. This leads to the early release of many murderers, thus causing the public to lose faith in the justice system - 'life doesn't mean life' etc.
To satisfactorily reflect blameworthiness, the mandatory sentence ought to be abolished, and be replaced with a maximum life sentence.
Also, to correctly label defendants and accurately reflect blameworthiness, degrees of murder should be introduced.
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