Sentencing reform tough or soft?

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jake-the-peg | 09:55 Thu 27th Oct 2011 | News
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The proposed changes to the sentencing bill is to increase the cases of mandatory life sentences.

However they're being a lot quieter on the plans to abolish indeterminate sentences

IPP's were brought in by Tony Blair where by serious offenders could be kept in gaol until it was considerred safe to release them.

Currently there are 3,500 inmates considerred to dangerous to release

And the Government is about to abolish the sentences under which they are held

A smart move?


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Not a smart move, for the reason you've stated - ie alot of dangerous people are now going to be released from prison. The indeterminate sentencing was a way of getting around the fact that a so-called life sentence is actually only a few years and murderous nasty individuals can be out and re-offfending in a fairly short space of time.

If they're abolishing it then we'll just go back to that state of affairs. I don't think it was an ideal situation - maybe what we need is realistic sentencing in the first place - ie proper tarifs for dangerous people to ensure public safety.

Ken Clarke is obviously a liberal mole in the Tory ranks who'd probably let everyone out of jail if he could. He was most likely forced to shoehorn the other 'tougher' measures in there to get the indeterminate sentencing abolishment through.
what other country would give violent people a second chance to commit these crimes!

if prison worked the first time we wouldn't need this change!
I agree with ludwig that the entire sentencing structure needs overhauling.
Capital punishment was withdrawn with the consent of the public on the understanding that 'capital offences' would receive life-imprisonment sentences. We have seen that slowly nibbled away without our consent.......the balance needs to be restored.
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Well the life sentence is equivilent to an IPP

Someone on a life sentence is effectively on an IPP as they have to convince a parole board they are safe.

(Obviously excluding people on whole life tarrifs - which is equivilent to what the "life-means-life" brigade think a life sentence should mean).

Thing is an IPP was available for any violent or sexual crime warranting at least 2 years impronsment .

Now you'd have be liable for a life sentence to get an indeterminate time inside.

This will tie the hands of the courts when sentencing a lot of dangerous people who have committed violent offences not warranting life.

As for Ken Clarke the Liberal mole - I think Cameron's stooge is nearer the mark.

If Cameron objected a simple phone call would be all he needed to make!

Clarke also seems to be soft on young thugs carrying knives, is he right?
// ...As for Ken Clarke the Liberal mole ...//

That's liberal mole Jake - small L.
// If Cameron objected a simple phone call would be all he needed to make //

Cameron's a proper Tory - he probably went along with it cos he thinks it'll save a few quid.
i heard on the news this morning that in the uk, we have more people on life sentences than the rest of europe put together.
It may be a question of semantics, but 'life-sentences' should be just that, and reserved for Capital Offences.
Anything below that should be called something else.

Hearing that someone has been sentenced "to life, with a recommendation that they serve a minimum of 9 years" (notwithstanding the 'licence' period of their release) is just a nonsense.

Yes a typical example here,


/// Judge Peter Beaumont, the Recorder of London, gave him two life sentences and ordered him to serve a minimum of 25 years after a nine-day trial at the Old Bailey. ///

But in his case I think life should mean life.
// Hearing that someone has been sentenced "to life, with a recommendation that they serve a minimum of 9 years" (notwithstanding the 'licence' period of their release) is just a nonsense //

It is a nonsense - but don't forget that after 'lifers' are released they're constantly under scrutiny for life and liable to go straight back to prison if they do anything illegal.
Oh hang on - that would be like the rest of us then.
Yes, it is just a nonsense.
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I dont see how comparing us with the rest of Europe says anything. We have more football thugs too so should we not bother with them?

Clarke is a joke, he shoudl go but Cameron is too weak and always looking to appease his fellow liberals. Clegg should watchout for his job Cameron is getting so nearly a liberal.

And life should mean life, otherwise callit something else. The term is used deliberatley to mislead the general public by right-on liberals
So sntencing someone whose maximum life expectancy is C) 120 years to 700 years is something to admire? Isn't that just silly tbh?

I think what the UK needs to learn from America on criminality and sentencing you could write on the head of a pin tbh.
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Does anybody think that abolishing parole for life sentences would reduce violence?

The US has a murder rate per head of population over 3 times ours and they have over 1% of their entire population in gaol! Only Rwanda locks up more

I wonder many potential murderers in the US stop and think "Oh I better not do that Life means Life".

Deterance simply doesn't work.

The point should be to do it intelligently and make sure that people are locked up for as long as necessary for public protection.

If someone kills their husband or wife in a fit of passion they're probably not a risk to the public, it's not going to be a deterrant spending a fortune on keeping them in gaol the rest of their lives is really dumb.

Yet under this you'll have dangerous GBH offenders getting let out afterthey finish their sentences
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If long sentences are not a deterrant to serious crimes then what is? From all accounts life inside is too cushy with colour TVs, mobile phones, easy access to drugs, etc. Maybe the prison authorities should clamp down on the abuses so that life in prison is not an extended holiday.

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