Victim Support responds to law group’s report
Published: 06 December 2011
- 06 December 2011
Victim Support’s homicide service sees the personal cost of murder every day
Victim Support today responded to the Homicide Review Advisory Group’s claim that mandatory life sentences for murder in England and Wales are unjust and outdated.
Commenting, Javed Khan, Chief Executive of Victim Support, said: “Every day Victim Support’s homicide service sees the personal cost of murder and how complex and emotive sentencing the killer can be for those left behind. We need to focus on creating a better understanding of what mandatory life sentences mean and consult widely with victims before any wholesale changes are made.”
The group, which consists of judges, academics and former QCs, said neither mandatory sentences nor the system for setting minimum terms allow for prison terms to match individual crimes. Instead, it called for sentencing for murder to be discretionary.
The mandatory life sentence replaced the death penalty in 1965. The starting point for a minimum term to be served for 'less serious murders' is 15 years. Having served their term, offenders are released on life licence, but can be recalled to prison at any time if they breach its terms.