Exploring the Mandatory Life Sentence for Murder

By Barry Mitchell, Julian V. Roberts

Murder is often regarded as both the "ultimate" and a unique crime; and whereas courts are normally given discretion in sentencing offenders, for murder, the sentence is mandatory - indeterminate imprisonment. Since the crime and the punishment come as a "package deal," this book looks at both the legal nature of the offense and the current operation of the mandatory life sentence in the UK. Not only does the book adopt a critical approach, by assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the status quo, but it also draws upon comparative material from both common and civil law jurisdictions in an attempt to provide a comprehensive exploration of these issues. The need for public confidence in the criminal justice system is particularly acute in the way it deals with the most serious homicides. The book reports on findings from Britain's first systematic exploration of public attitudes to sentencing murder. The picture of public opinion emerging from this recent, large-scale, nationwide qualitative and quantitative survey, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, is likely to surprise many, and will be of interest to all jurisdictions where the mandatory life sentence for murder has been questioned.

196 pages

Publication Date: 10/15/2012
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781849462280