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Law Commission: Murder laws 'should be reformed'

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posted on Dec, 20 2005 @ 01:31 PM
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www.bbc.co.uk

The law on murder in England and Wales is "a mess" and should be overhauled, advisers have told the government.

The Law Commission said it had found wide support among criminal justice professionals for an end to the mandatory life sentence for murder.

The panel suggested different kinds of murders could be "graded" to recognise the seriousness of the offence.

But the Home Office said mandatory life sentences would not be abolished and argued courts already had flexibility.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


It is about time that we began to look in-depth at crimes and treating all criminals as one. The problem with the British legal system right now, is the fact that many people convicted are given a mandatory sentence which isn’t reflecting of the crime they committed or that they go innocent because of the mandatory sentence - this recently was seen with the “Mercy Killing” of a mans son, where he was not convicted.

At present, the law doesn’t work - Manslaughter [Voluntary and Involuntarily] as well as Murder, need to be changed and what they suggested is an improvement. Splitting murder into two tiers, will result in a higher conviction rate and separating more serious crimes such as infanticide and judging each case on merit.

Law Commission

Hopefully, we can begin to evolve our legal system into something which the World will look on and be proud of - no longer mandatory minimum sentences, but judgements on a case by case basis - this is a persons life, many people are effected and to Judge them all the same is causing un-measurable harm to society.




posted on Dec, 22 2005 @ 07:40 AM
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They should keep the life sentence for some murders. Other murders however are unique, such as someone killing their spouse who cheated on them for instance. With a psychopath, they are dangerous to society but all murderers should be punished severly regardless of the circumstances.



posted on Dec, 22 2005 @ 08:58 AM
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The Problem we have MashUp, is that the Courts try to group every crime together because if they treat everyone as an individual then it would "take to long" and although the statement is true it is unfair.

Imagine being sent to prison, for 25 years for murdering someone who was say raping your wife or broke into your house. In these cases people are so scared that they do anything to protect themselves and they are treated the same as someone who goes out one night, with the intent to kill someone.

Until we can look at each crime on a case by case basis, we are subjecting people to prison who should not be ther and juries are letting people free who should be in prison...



posted on Jan, 14 2006 @ 11:56 AM
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Originally posted by Odium
Imagine being sent to prison, for 25 years for murdering someone who was say raping your wife or broke into your house. In these cases people are so scared that they do anything to protect themselves and they are treated the same as someone who goes out one night, with the intent to kill someone.


You actually, seriously believe that this is murder ?

Just how and where did the UK become this insane, where a citizen who may one day sit on a jury would believe that killing someone who was raping your wife was guilty of some type of crime, let alone murder.

I'm sorry, but you people have seriously lost any form of Moral Compass that the UK ever possessed.

For the record, the individual that rapes or attempts to rape my wife would be shot like a feral dog, and the justice system here in the US would no more prosecute me for it than sprout wings and fly, unless I happened to off him post factum.



posted on Jan, 14 2006 @ 12:09 PM
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Originally posted by Odium


Imagine being sent to prison, for 25 years for murdering someone who was say raping your wife or broke into your house. In these cases people are so scared that they do anything to protect themselves and they are treated the same as someone who goes out one night, with the intent to kill someone.


Wouldn't that qualify as justifiable homicide and not murder?

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I just did a search, they have a defense called provocation and I assume that could be used in that instance.



Possible defences

* Self-defence (Archbold, 19-41);
* Diminished responsibility Archbold, 19-66);
* Provocation (Archbold, 19-50);
* Participation in a suicide pact (Archbold, 19-83).

If there is evidence to support self-defence, the burden falls on the prosecution to rebut it beyond reasonable doubt (Archbold, 19-43).



posted on Jan, 16 2006 @ 10:50 AM
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Originally posted by AceOfBase
Wouldn't that qualify as justifiable homicide and not murder?


- Up to a point.

We have a concept of 'reasonable defence' or 'reasonable force'; finding a burglar or even for that matter someone raping your wife is not considered sufficient excuse to make them your plaything to mutilate, torture and murder as you see fit.
Most prefer the rule of law, even when it is difficult.
There is no automatic 'bye' for ones' most barbarous and worst instincts.

Good job too cos IMO 'we' (as a society) can also do very well without those kind of quiet nutters in our midst too.

But in practical terms this is almost always one of those theoretical issues.

With extremely few exceptions the courts in the UK almost never see people up before them to be tried for protecting their own property or families etc etc.
'We' prefer to look at these things individually and case by case; which IMO is about as sane, reasonable and morally correct as it gets.

The trouble is that because of those very rare exceptions that have ended up in front of the courts a series of myths can build up about this (usually because people rarely look at the facts involved in those exceptional cases the courts do actually see).

Tony Martin is a prime and fairly well known recent example; he became grist to the agenda mill of 'newspapers' like the Mail and Telegraph here; despite the fact that he illegally held a gun and shot to death the 16yr old burgling his house in the back as he was fleeing the house and running away from him.

This is one of those issues that every so often the government here (of which ever colour) attempts to adjust or 're-balance' the law in favour of the property owner or 'victim' but ultimately in UK law we still, thankfully, have this issue of what is 'reasonable'.


[edit on 16-1-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jan, 17 2006 @ 10:43 AM
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The problem is, you have two choices:

Either Goverment sets down the laws clearly or;
The Courts and Judges set down the law through Precedent.

The Judges, can make large mistakes with Precent an example of this is Anns v Merton London Borough Council [1978] and also Lord Atkin's and his neighbour principle from Donoghue v Stevenson which helped to create a whole new branch of law throughout the whole of the Commonwealth.

The problem was, Lord Atkin's wasn't elected and his words - in fact, just something he said not in direct relevence to the case changed the shape of the modern World and the Government still haven't caught up.

With things like murder the Government, can't lag behind the Courts and the People. The will of the people is changing, and it is the job of those elected to create, clear legislation which places the limits. Otherwise, people in the courts will be confused - legislation will be unclear and innocent people will be found guilty, guilty people can be found innocent.



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