Lord Judge’s comments at the Royal Courts of Justice today follow a call by the independent Homicide Advisory Review Group for the mandatory life sentence for murder to be scrapped.
The group, whose members include former judges, lawyers and prison governors, claimed the compulsory life term was “outdated” and “unjust” and that judges should be given the power to determine punishment on a case-by-case basis.
Or, in other words, ‘My god, the British public is so vengeful, and we do so hate sending people to jail who have sad lives and evil childhoods, it fair makes us weep…’
Lord Judge said, however, that offenders were already given varying “tariffs” setting out the minimum time that each must serve and that the main problem was that the law was too complicated.He cited recent legislation barring those accused of killing from using “provocation on the grounds of sexual infidelity” as a defence as a major problem that he was “grappling with”. The answer, he said, would be to review the murder law to achieve legislation that was both in step with public opinion and simpler to implement and understand.
I really can’t see what could possibly give him pause about the new legislation on provocation, unless he’s in favour of allowing it as a defence.
Murderers who kill disabled or transgender people in hate crimes are to face much longer prison sentences under government proposals.The justice secretary, Kenneth Clarke, said the “starting point” for judges sentencing in disability and transgender murder cases was to double from 15 to 30 years.
So, on the one hand, we aren’t in favour of statutory sentences, while on the other, we are, so long as the ‘right’ victim group is being assuaged?
Our justice system is schizophrenic!
The move will bring sentencing in these cases in line with murders in which race, religion or sexual orientation is an aggravating factor.
My take is that there should BE no ‘aggravating factors’ other than those used in the commission of the crime – a tariff for malice aforethought and planning, for torture before death, for attempts to evade capture – but nothing for why the victim was chosen.
The proposal is part of the government’s first strategy to tackle transgender prejudice in England and Wales.
By making them a protected species, for whom their death is considered more heinous than the death of your cousin or granny?
How the hell is that supposed to work?