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B1097 – Murder (Sentencing) Bill 2017 Watch

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    B1097 – Murder (Sentencing) Bill 2017, TSR Government

    Murder (Sentencing) Bill 2017
    A Bill to remove mandatory life sentences for the crime of murder

    BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

    1. Removal of mandatory life sentence for murder
    1. The finding of a defendant to be guilty of murder shall no longer result in a mandatory life sentence.
    2. The Sentencing Council shall produce revised sentencing guidelines which account for this change.


    2. Commencement, Short Title and Extent
    1. This Act may be referred to as the Murder Act 2017
    2. This Act will extend to the United Kingdom; and;
    3. This Act shall come into force on 1st May 2017; except for s1(2), which shall come into force immediately.


    Notes
    This means that persons found guilty of murder are no longer automatically sentenced to life - but does not remove the possibility of judges doing so where it is found to be appropriate. This greater flexibility will allow for more appropriate sentencing to the goals thereof - there is scant evidence that greater sentences produce a greater deterrent effect: http://eml.berkeley.edu/~jmccrary/ch...ccrary2014.pdf.

    It is tough to point to cases reported in the news where a life sentence was too harsh, simply because the general public is not nearly as interested in cases without the 'shock factor'. However, here are a couple of hypothetical scenarios where a life sentence would undoubtedly be too harsh, which would nevertheless amount to murder:

    1) It is 4am, and a man, upstairs with the rest of his sleeping family, hears an intruder downstairs. He picks up a heavy object from his bedside table and creeps downstairs. He turns a corner and suddenly sees the intruder, who he strikes over the head with the object. This causes severe bleeding and instantly knocks out the intruder. The man calls an ambulance, but the intruder dies in hospital. This would amount to murder.

    2) It is a Sunday afternoon, and two men are arguing in a pub. They agree to 'take it outside'. Unbeknownst to man 1 (let's call him Phil), man 2 (Dave) has a condition which makes him uniquely prone to haemorrhaging. Phil lands a heavy punch on Dave's stomach. Dave collapses but gets back up again. They are both kicked out and both go their separate ways. Dave dies that evening. This, too, is murder (with certain caveats about the intent which was found).
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    Soft on crime!
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    A firm no from me.
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    A firm aye
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    I'm leaning towards a No on this as it stands, regarding the 2 hypothetical scenarios outlined in the Notes I think it'd be better to adjust the definition of murder so that those would be classed as manslaughter.
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    Oh, and by the way, the second scenario in the notes is actually unlawful act manslaughter. For the required elements of murder to be satisfied, the defendant must have either:

    Express malice aforethought - the intention to kill.
    Implied malice aforethought - the intention to cause GBH.

    As from what I can read from Scenario 2, the defendant neither had intent to kill or to cause GBH. The death was caused through the unlawful act, battery, committed by the defendant unto the victim which caused the death.
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    I'll be voting no on this, justice is probably my most (and only) socially conservative aspect.

    We need to be tough on crime, and tough on the causes of crime, as some guy once said.

    I don't think reducing the sentencing for murder is the right way to go about this, I would suggest that we alter the definition of manslughter to account for obvious exceptions like the ones mentioned in the notes (however, as kallum.finch noted above, scenario 2 is already manslaughter anyway.)
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    Nay - kallum.finch is right, scenario 2 is manslaughter.
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    I do not take the two examples given as being classified as murder; a decent defence barrister would be jumping all over them in minutes. For the first example, the facts seem at odds with the facts established in the infamous Tony Martin case. If a farmer can shoot dead two fleeing intruders but be convicted of manslaughter with a three-year sentence, I find it difficult to believe a drowsy, half-asleep, homeowner would be convicted of murder for a moment of madness fuelled by the shock of seeing an intruder in his home. Using all of the classic defences against murder, the homeowner could claim to have felt sacred for his life when he encountered the intruder, to have thought he had seen the intruder holding a weapon in the dark, could claim long-term stress, and could say the intruder lashed out at him first. The homeowner could not lie, however, when you encounter a stranger in your home in darkness, being scared, fearing for your life, and thinking the intruder has a weapon would be a common thought: I believe a manslaughter charge with diminished responsibility is more likely.
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    I'm pretty sure a good lawyer could get you off of the first charge as well
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    (Original post by kallum.finch)
    Oh, and by the way, the second scenario in the notes is actually unlawful act manslaughter. For the required elements of murder to be satisfied, the defendant must have either:

    Express malice aforethought - the intention to kill.
    Implied malice aforethought - the intention to cause GBH.

    As from what I can read from Scenario 2, the defendant neither had intent to kill or to cause GBH. The death was caused through the unlawful act, battery, committed by the defendant unto the victim which caused the death.
    The worrying thing here is this bill would have been approved my a member who is very keen to remind us all he graduated from Oxford with a 2:1 in Law.
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    (Original post by Nigel Farage MEP)
    The worrying thing here is this bill would have been approved my a member who is very keen to remind us all he graduated from Oxford with a 2:1 in Law.
    And we're keen to remind him that it doesn't seem to be helping with getting a job, which suggests either lies or failure to try properly.

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    Has to be a nay or abstain. I don't think we can ever be lenient in the slightest towards crime. I'm not too well adjusted with the legal system, but surely it would be clear to all involved that the man in his home did not intend to murder? He had no intention that day or night or murdering. The burglar had the intention to steal, that is not to say that the man is free of any wrongdoing, but to classify it as murder would be harsh.
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    (Original post by TitanCream)
    Has to be a nay or abstain. I don't think we can ever be lenient in the slightest towards crime. I'm not too well adjusted with the legal system, but surely it would be clear to all involved that the man in his home did not intend to murder? He had no intention that day or night or murdering. The burglar had the intention to steal, that is not to say that the man is free of any wrongdoing, but to classify it as murder would be harsh.
    99% of the time it wouldn't be it would take a terrible lawyer for that to happen
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    Nay from me you can't be soft on murderers :noway: they kill someone they spend life in prison, simple. We should in fact increase the punishment and put them to death! Dependent of course on what type of murder they commit and how serious it is.

    The two examples are manslaughter not murder. You should go read up on the definition of murder and manslaughter clearly you don't know the difference.


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    (Original post by Nigel Farage MEP)
    The worrying thing here is this bill would have been approved my a member who is very keen to remind us all he graduated from Oxford with a 2:1 in Law.
    Wait this bill is created by someone from Oxford? :wtf: I find that very hard to believe someone who graduated with law from Oxford can write this garbage. I smell bull if you ask me

    Posted from OtherWorld
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    (Original post by mr T 999)
    Wait this bill is created by someone from Oxford? :wtf: I find that very hard to believe someone who graduated with law from Oxford can write this garbage. I smell bull if you ask me

    Posted from OtherWorld
    It doesn't have to have been written or accepted by a member who got a law degree from Oxford at all, Nigel is purely having a dig at a certain member with out any information on the matter. It is true we have a member who has been to Oxford, and got a law degree there, however that doesn't mean he wrote this bill, and as he is neither Labour leader or socialist leader he doesn't have to have approved this bill to be released.

    In any case I do agree with this bill, the examples given may not be the best, but this bill doesn't seek to stop life sentences, merely give judges greater say over the sentences given out in the case of a verdict of guilty of murder in cases where the punishment of the crime, under the circumstances, may not need result in life imprisonment. I also absolutely reject any such calls as I saw one person say, unsure if they are a member of the house or not as I do not think I recognised their name, for the reinstatement of the death penalty, I see the use of such a measure as barbaric and unfitting of modern society.
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    (Original post by kallum.finch)
    Oh, and by the way, the second scenario in the notes is actually unlawful act manslaughter. For the required elements of murder to be satisfied, the defendant must have either:

    Express malice aforethought - the intention to kill.
    Implied malice aforethought - the intention to cause GBH.

    As from what I can read from Scenario 2, the defendant neither had intent to kill or to cause GBH. The death was caused through the unlawful act, battery, committed by the defendant unto the victim which caused the death.
    (Original post by CoffeeGeek)
    Nay - kallum.finch is right, scenario 2 is manslaughter.
    (Original post by mr T 999)
    Nay from me you can't be soft on murderers :noway: they kill someone they spend life in prison, simple. We should in fact increase the punishment and put them to death! Dependent of course on what type of murder they commit and how serious it is.

    The two examples are manslaughter not murder. You should go read up on the definition of murder and manslaughter clearly you don't know the difference.


    Posted from OtherWorld
    The two examples would both potentially be murder. Such is the issue of a jury trial. The first is relatively uncontroversial; if you can't see how there can be an intention to cause serious bodily harm in that instance, you're simply wrong. The second is a stretch, I'll admit, but if you add one of just a few factors to it (e.g. a previous swing at the head, the defendant holding any weapon at the time, the fight being extended), you can easily find that intention. Furthermore, although Nigel correctly refers to R v Martin, there's a strong case to be made that the Court of Appeal overstretched their jurisdiction as regards that one. To those saying 'just get a good defence barrister'; while a good defence barrister may increase one's chances of walking away with a mere manslaughter conviction in these instances, it wouldn't remove the possibility of a murder verdict. Furthermore, not everyone can afford a good defence barrister; we shouldn't be putting a price on justice and liberty.

    Furthermore, none of you are arguing, at this point, that the sentence would actually be fair in the first case alone. This does not remove the option to give a life sentence for murder, and indeed, I suggest that would still be the result in the vast majority of cases. It just amends the few cases where a life sentence is a gross injustice.
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    Furthermore, none of you are arguing, at this point, that the sentence would actually be fair in the first case alone. This does not remove the option to give a life sentence for murder, and indeed, I suggest that would still be the result in the vast majority of cases. It just amends the few cases where a life sentence is a gross injustice.
    Still no. If anything, we should be reforming murder as a whole, not the sentencing. If we reformed murder entirely, we'd be able to provide distinction between the intention to cause GBH and the intention to kill and punish them adequately. And like previous members of the House have stated, we shouldn't be softening on murderers.
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    If the problem is people having to spend too long in prison for murder I can think of a simple solution, all I need is something horizontal maybe 10-15 ft off the ground and some rope, cut decades off

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