The mandatory life sentence for murder : an argument for judicial discretion in England

Fitz-Gibbon, Kate 2013, The mandatory life sentence for murder : an argument for judicial discretion in England, Criminology and criminal justice, vol. 13, no. 5-6, pp. 506-525, doi: 10.1177/1748895812458297.

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Title The mandatory life sentence for murder : an argument for judicial discretion in England
Author(s) Fitz-Gibbon, Kate
Journal name Criminology and criminal justice
Volume number 13
Issue number 5-6
Start page 506
End page 525
Total pages 20
Publisher Sage Publications
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2013-11
ISSN 1748-8966
Keyword(s) judicial discretion
mandatory life sentence
Summary In 1965, alongside the abolition of capital punishment, a mandatory life sentence for murder was implemented in England and Wales. The mandatory life sentence served as a signal to the public that the criminal justice system would still implement the most severe sanction of life imprisonment in cases of murder. Nearly 50 years later, this article examines whether the imposition of a mandatory life sentence for murder is still in the best interests of justice or whether English homicide law would be better served by a discretionary sentencing system. In doing so, the article considers debates surrounding the political and public need for a mandatory life sentence for murder by drawing upon interviews conducted with 29 members of the English criminal justice system. This research concludes that a discretionary sentencing framework is required to adequately respond to the many contexts within which the crime of murder is committed.
Language eng
DOI 10.1177/1748895812458297
Field of Research 180110 Criminal Law and Procedure
180119 Law and Society
Socio Economic Objective 940403 Criminal Justice
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, SAGE publishers
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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Created: Fri, 15 Mar 2013, 08:42:30 EST by Kate Fitz-Gibbon

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