By Barry Mitchell
Based on a two-part learn, this ebook examines the courts' interpretation of homicide and the administration of these serving lifestyles sentences for homicide. It discusses the legislation, criminal reforms, lifestyles imprisonment and the probabilities for freeing "lifers" with out endangering the public.
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Epub ISBN: 978-0-553-90523-6
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Extra resources for Murder and Penal Policy
It appears, therefore, that if they remain separate offences, it need not necessarily be on the basis that murder should carry a mandatory life penalty whereas manslaughter should attract only a maximum of life imprisonment. Life imprisonment (or the equivalent) should be the maximum penalty for both offences, and the trial judge can reflect the gravity of the case by the way in which he exercises his sentencing discretion. Preserving the distinction between the crimes allows the stigma of murder to be maintained and recognises the variations that exist between one unlawful killing and another.
The alternative case, set out in (b), was designed to cover those cases where, for example, the offender shoots at a pursuer when escaping from a robbery which he has committed. His intention may be only to disable the pursuer, but he appreciates that there was a risk of mortally wounding his victim and, because of this appreciation, he should be regarded as a murderer. Aware of the strength of public feeling about terrorism, the CLRC recognised that their proposals would nevertheless not bring certain terrorist killings within the realms of murder.
It is accepted that his condition does not strictly fall within the ambit of section 2(1) of the 1957 Homicide Act, but the interests of justice dictate that his liability be reduced so as to reflect the invidious circumstances surrounding the offence. In their 1976 Working Paper, the CLRC had suggested that there should be a separate crime, punishable with a maximum of two years' imprisonment, where a person who, from compassion, unlawfully kills another who is or is believed by him to be: (i) permanently subject to great bodily pain or suffering, or (ii) permanently helpless from bodily or mental incapacity, or (iii) subject to rapid and incurable bodily or mental degeneration.