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Average Life Sentence is 15 years???

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posted on Sep, 30 2007 @ 03:19 PM
Is it true that the average murder sentence in the UK is only 15 years before the date of first parole.

If so, that seems incredible. Murder someone at 20 and you're out at 35 - not a bad deal at all, it appears to make killing someone a viable proposition if you have a good reason.

Do UK residents support this on the whole? shouldn't you give a life if you take a life, whether that means life in prison or the death penalty?

[edit on 30-9-2007 by Retseh]

posted on Sep, 30 2007 @ 04:11 PM

Originally posted by Retseh
Is it true that the avergae murder sentence in the UK is only 15 years before the date of first parole.

I don't know - perhaps you could enlighten us as to which source you've found that figure at?

Originally posted by Retseh
Do UK residents support this on the whole? shouldn't you give a life if you take a life, whether that means life in prison or the death penalty?

Again, I don't know - no polls have been done on the subject to my knowledge. As for the latter point, that's surely an individual moral judgement and not a simple fact? Morality is a very personal thing, after all. What you deem as a just punishment may be too harsh or too lenient in the eyes of someone else.

posted on Sep, 30 2007 @ 07:04 PM

Originally posted by Ste2652
I don't know - perhaps you could enlighten us as to which source you've found that figure at?

Wikipedia - link:

The average sentence is about 15 years before the first parole hearing, although those convicted of exceptionally grave crimes remain behind bars for considerably longer; Ian Huntley was given a tariff of 40 years. Some receive whole life tariffs and die in prison, such as Myra Hindley and Harold Shipman; there are currently around 25 people serving whole life tariffs in the UK, although the number of Whole Life Tariffs has risen significantly in recent years.

posted on Oct, 1 2007 @ 08:48 AM
And the statistic isn't itself sourced on Wikipedia... so we've no idea how the author of the article arrived at that figure or where he/she found it. Thus, we must not use this figure as a truthful one until more information corroborating it can be found.

I'm going to be a bit presumptuous here, Retseh, and say that you're an American (do correct me if I'm wrong). In which case the term 'life sentence' has different meanings in the British and US legal systems, so perhaps you shouldn't be quite as shocked as you appear to be.

posted on Oct, 3 2007 @ 06:47 PM
Let's not forget we also have a real cracker of a sentence that is often over-looked 'Detained at Her Majesty's pleasure'.

Basically this means no determined end date or for a parole hearing or review.

That's what the real nut-jobs get and they usually get completely forgotten once it's handed down.

(As with any penal system tho the formality of a 1st parole hearing is no indication of any likely success in actually getting out......and it's worth bearing in mind that the recent synthetic and wholly political fuss over early releases was because prisoners were let out 2wks before they would have been released anyways.)

[edit on 3-10-2007 by sminkeypinkey]

posted on Oct, 4 2007 @ 09:25 AM
And here in not-so-sunny Spain the life sentance is.....drum roll....about 16 example - a mutiple rapist who attacked more than 15 women was jailed for 334 years, however he has served only 16 years and now has a new name etc and is Ecuador (my wifes from there) the life sentance MAXIMUM for whatever crime, mutiple murder, rape etc is......drum roll once more......17 YEARS.

Call me a little old fashioned, but when they say LIFE SENTANCE. i would like it to mean exactly that, FOR LIFE.

There are people who do not merit a life in normal society.
I agree with the death penalty when the evidence is beyond doubt.

Why maintain a person who is not fit to live in society in jail for years at the tax payers expense to release him in 15 years only to kill or rape again in a few days or weeks

posted on Oct, 4 2007 @ 11:52 AM
I believe that here in the US a life sentence is 25 years and then a chance at a parole hearing ... hence the saying "25 to life". We also have life without parole in which case the person cannot be released without a pardon from the president (if he/she is a federal inmate) or a state/territorial governor (for state and territorial prisoners).

That being said, a person generally only serves a third of the actual sentence ex a 7 year sentence is really only 5 years. It might even be down to half of the actual sentence due to overcrowding (and no its not just about drugs, many prisons are very old and unsafe for both staff and inmates thus are shut down faster then we can build new ones).

posted on Oct, 4 2007 @ 12:48 PM
I think you're right about the 15 years in the UK but a lot of folk get out much earlier than that. For example, get drunk, steal a car, knock over a child and kill them, probably you'll be out in about 4 years. Some folk actually only get a few months for that crime though. Look it up if you don't believe mePardon me, I've just been corrected by my friend who's in the know. Even if you're given life for murder, i.e. the 15 years max. you'll probably be out in about 6, but you're out "on licence" which means you can be recalled for whatever reason. But the benefits are huge.

[edit on 4-10-2007 by wigit]

posted on Oct, 4 2007 @ 02:57 PM
As with all these sorts of considerations a superficial and shallow appraisal is hardly good grounds for making big sweeping claims.

IIRC the overwhelming majority of murders/man-slaughters (at least in the UK) are heat-of-the-moment events where the victim and killer are well known to each other and the killer has never demonstrated any signs of being likely to kill
(often being as shocked at what they have done as anyone else and truly remorseful).
In other-words they did not commit a premeditated killing and are no more likely to kill again than any of the rest of us are in the first place.

In circumstances like that I can well imagine how a sentence might mean a lot less than life.
As has been mentioned they would never really be 'free' as such, only licenced and liable to recall at any time.

Those types of circumstances are utterly different and would be treated completely differently to a serial killer or a contract killer etc etc.

I find the ideas some are forwarding here of 15 or less years being a good 'deal' or in some way beneficial odd to say the least.

[edit on 4-10-2007 by sminkeypinkey]

posted on Oct, 4 2007 @ 03:37 PM
reply to post by wigit

For clarity Wigit, the 15 year term is not a maximum, it is the average term served before parole. The maximum is, of course, a "whole life" sentence.

You also have to remember that life sentences are given for a range of offences other than murder, (for which they are mandatory), such as manslaughter, armed robbery and rape. In addition to these life was also mandatory until very recently for a second serious violent crime although this has now been replaced by indeterminate sentences.

So lifers can be guilty of a great range of offences committed in a huge range of circumstances which goes a long way to explain what may appear to some to be a relatively short period in custody.

If it is of any comfort the number of life sentences awarded more than doubled over the ten years to 2005 even without indeterminate sentences taken into account. Furthermore, the average term served in custody is also increasing, (from memory from 12 to 15 years over that same period), and the number of whole life terms handed down is also increasing.

All of which helps to explain why our prison population is at an all time high, the idea that prisons are clogged up by debt defaulters and petty criminals is a myth.

There are more statistics than you can shake a stick at here if you have the patience to read through 204 pages of data.

Finally, if you still believe that 15 years in custody is a bit on the light side just try thinking about what you were doing 15 years ago and then think about spending the majority of that time in a cell.

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